“Part II” (03/01/17) – It is 1978, and Cleve Jones, Ken Jones and Roma Guy work together to fight Proposition 6, which would ban gays, lesbians, and their allies from working in California public schools. Ken lives secretly with his boyfriend, Richard, a social worker who would lose his job if the ballot measure were to pass.
Meanwhile, Roma quickly discovers that living with her ex-girlfriend Diane and her current girlfriend, Jean, isn’t exactly ideal when Diane announces that she’s going to have one of the first ever lesbian “turkey-baster” babies. Now living in the Castro with friends Marvin and Scott, Cleve works on the campaign to elect Harvey Milk as San Francisco City Supervisor. Victory soon turns to tragedy when Milk is assassinated. The ballot box, the police, and the courts unable or unwilling to protect them, our characters rise up and take to the streets.
Just as gays and lesbians are gaining political power in 1981, a disease dubbed “gay cancer” begins taking the lives of gay men and IV drug users. When Cleve’s friend Bobbi Campbell falls victim, Cleve turns to Dr. Marcus Conant, determined to help slow the spread of this yet untreatable disease. Diane works as a nurse at a public hospital. Needing more help in the face of this rapidly growing health crisis, Diane convinces Roma and the Women’s Center to volunteer to help comfort the hospital’s “untouchable” gay patients. Cleve, Ken, Roma, and Diane struggle to educate a terrified community with what little information they have, while wondering if they too may have contracted the disease. During a heart-breaking vigil for those who have passed, Cleve is inspired to create what will become the AIDS Memorial Quilt, in hopes of seizing the nation’s attention, on “When We Rise,” WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network.
“When We Rise” stars Guy Pearce as Cleve Jones, Mary-Louise Parker as Roma Guy, Rachel Griffiths as Diane, Michael K. Williams as Ken Jones, Austin McKenzie as Young Cleve, Jonathan Majors as Young Ken, Emily Skeggs as Young Roma and Fiona Dourif as Young Diane.
Guest starring are Whoopi Goldberg as Pat Norman, Rosie O’Donnell as Del Martin, Carrie Preston as Sally Gearhart, Ivory Aquino as Cecilia Chung, Caitlin Gerard as Jean, Dylan Walsh as Dr. Marcus Conant, Kevin McHale as Bobbi Campbell, Sam Jaeger as Richard, Nick Eversman as Scott Remple, Maddie Corman as Phyllis, Rafael De La Fuente as Ricardo, Justin Sams as Sylvester, Akuyoe Graham as Luna, Joshua Brockington as Daniel, Pernell Walker as Gwenn Craig, Saidah Arrika Ekulona as Audre Lorde, Derek Phillips as Dan White, Bruce Bealke as Officer 1, Dylan Arnold as Younger Gilbert, James Pinkman as Basher #2, Johnny Kelly as Frightened Young Man, Joseph Baken as Kid Handcuffed by Cops, Molly Shaiken as Lesbian, Matthew Uhlik as Young Basher, Kelly Crump as Two Tons of Fun #1 and Misa Malone as Two Tons of Fun #2.
The first hour of “Part II” was written by Dustin Lance Black and Dianne Houston and directed by Dee Rees. The second hour was written by Lisa Zwerling and directed by Dee Rees.