October 14, 2013

An Open Letter to the New York City and National LGBTQ and AIDS/HIV Communities:

In light of the recent news that Dr. Marjorie Hill is leaving Gay Men’s Health Crisis as its CEO, we want to publicly thank her for her many years of wise and thoughtful leadership in our community. Many of us have worked with Marjorie for many years in different capacities and are inspired by her commitment to excellence, her passion for social justice, her profound dedication to LGBTQ equality and HIV/AIDS work. and her deep compassion. Our community is extremely fortunate to have Dr. Marjorie Hill as the indefatigable leader she is.

Marjorie¹s service to GMHC is unprecedented. She was CEO longer than any other CEO or executive director in GMHC’s history — seven years. And, her contributions and dedication to GMHC — as a volunteer, board member, and staff — extend well beyond her years at the helm. Marjorie joined the board of GMHC in 1994, at the height of the AIDS crisis in this country. She remained on the board until 2001, providing stable leadership in extremely turbulent times. After the New York Times declared HIV over, GMHC was deeply in debt and Marjorie courageously stepped forward to co-chair the board. In 2004, Marjorie became a member of the GMHC staff. She served as managing director for community health with responsibility for the Women’s Institute and coordination of community level initiatives.

Marjorie also has an extensive history as a leader in our movement. In 1990, Mayor David Dinkins appointed her to become the director of the Mayor's Office for the Lesbian and Gay Community. While in this position, Marjorie shepherded in domestic partnership benefits for same-sex couples, making New York City one of the first cities in the nation to grant rights to such couples, helping to set in motion similar progress across the country. In 2001, Marjorie became the assistant commissioner for the Bureau of HIV/AIDS at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In this role, Marjorie funded and oversaw innovative tools to fight the HIV epidemic.

Marjorie has also generously supported and volunteered for numerous organizations of great importance to our community. Some examples include: the Black Leadership Commission on AIDS; the boards of the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Public Health Association of New York, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Mothers to Mothers, and chair of the Thirteen/ WNET Community Advisory Board. She is a senior advisor to the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Research, Columbia University and on the editorial board of POZ magazine. Marjorie has consistently been willing to mentor leaders of other LGBTQ and AIDS service organizations to help make our movement stronger, and she has been an effective bridge builder among and between the diverse communities.

Throughout her many years of service, Marjorie has been a unique and powerful voice in the fight against AIDS and on behalf of the LGBTQ communities. Both movements have benefited from her leadership. We are enormously grateful to Marjorie for her many contributions and proud to have her as a colleague. Along with many others, we look forward to what we hope will be many more years of Dr. Marjorie Hill sharing her gifts and experience to improve and strengthen our communities.

With gratitude,

• Katherine Acey, GRIOT Circle

• Moises Agosto

• Kathy Ahearn-O’Brien

• Brett Andrews

• William Arnold

• Chris Bartlett, William Way LGBT Community Center

• Selisse Berry, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

• Douglas Brooks

• Eliza Byard

• Rea Carey

• Cynthia Carey-Grant, WORLD

• Kevin Cathcart

• Guillermo Chacon, Latino Commission on AIDS

• Vignetta Charles, AIDS United

• Bernard Cherkasov, Equality Illinois

• Donna Crews

• Phil Curtis

• Rev. DeWayne L. Davis

• Ben de Guzman

• Oscar De La O

• Victor Diaz-Herman

• Anne Donnelly

• Erin Drinkwater

• Sergio Farfan

• C. Virginia Fields, National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc.

• Earl D. Fowlkes, Jr., Center For Black Equity

• Debra Fraser-Howze

• Donna Futterman, MD

• Dave Garcia

• Neil Giuliano

• Chad Griffin

• Rev. Dr. Robert L. Griffin, Sunshine Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church

• Rebecca Haag, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts

• Jody Huckaby

• Brian Hujdich, HealthHIV

• Rebecca Isaacs, Equality Federation

• Lorri L. Jean, Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center

• Ronald Johnson

• Vanessa Johnson

• Barbara Joseph

• Paul Kawata

• Mara Keisling

• Kate Kendell

• George Kerr, START at Westminster

• Naina Khanna

• David Kilmnick, PhD, Long Island GLBT Network

• Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, senior rabbi, Congregation

Beit Simchat Torah

• Peter Kronenberg

• Abbe Land

• Lorraine Langlois, Metro Wellness and Community Centers

• Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, National Black Justice Coalition

• Kali Lindsey

• Curtis Lipscomb

• Alazar Manning

• Robert J. Manning

• Mary Elizabeth Marr

• William McColl

• Renee McCoy

• Lisbeth Melendez Rivera

• Rev. Jim Merritt

• Dave Montez

• Kareem Murphy

• Candice Nichols

• Clarence Patton, Pipeline Project

• Darren Phelps, Pride at Work AFL CIO

• Leo Rennie

• Andrew Reynolds

• Therese R. Rodriguez, APICHA Community Health Center

• Nathan Rush, Bethlehem House

• Linda Scruggs

• Pernessa Seele

• Clarissa Silva

• Michael Silverman

• Nadine Smith

• William (Bill) Smith

• Sharon Stapel

• Jessica Stern

• Terry Stone

• Sean Strub

• Fred Swanson

• Lee Swislow, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders

• Glennda Testone

• Craig E. Thompson, AIDS Project Los Angeles

• Daniel Tietz

• Rachel B. Tiven

• Lance Toma

• Carole Treston

• Ivy Turnbull

• Noel Twibeck

• Evelyn Ullah

• Hector Vargas

• Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches

• Phill Wilson

• Chuck Wolfe

• Evan Wolfson

• A. Toni Young, Community Education Group


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