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Larry Kramer Accepts First-Ever Lifetime Achievement Award Named for Him By GMHC: FULL VIDEO

Kramer

At a ceremony last night, longtime activist, author and playwright Larry Kramer received the first-ever Larry Kramer Activism Award, named for him by GMHC. Kramer helped found GMHC (Gay Men's Health Crisis) in his living room, and his landmark play The Normal Heart tells the story of its founding in the early days of the AIDS epidemic in New York City.

Said Kramer in his acceptance speech:

"Genocide is the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or ethnic group. Such as gay people. Such as people of color. To date, around the world, an estimated 78 million people have become infected, 39 million of whom have died. When we first became acquainted with HIV there were 41 cases. The main difference between the Larry Kramer who helped to start Gay Men’s Health Crisis in his living room in 1982 and ACT UP in 1987 and the Larry Kramer who stands before you now is that I no longer have any doubt that our government is content, via sins of omission or commission, to allow the extermination of my homosexual population to continue unabated.

"It is talk like this that got the original GMHC board to boot me off and out. It is also talk like this that enabled ACT UP to succeed in getting us our own treatments. These treatments are not good enough but have been good enough to extend our lives. Unfortunately they still come with side effects and they reward their greedy manufacturers with more money than they would make locating the cure that would end this plague."

Mark Ruffalo and Joe Mantello spoke before Kramer came to the podium.

Watch the speech (Kramer begins at 9:30) and read the transcript, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Larry Kramer Accepts First-Ever Lifetime Achievement Award Named for Him By GMHC: FULL VIDEO" »


A Closer Look at How Budget Cuts Are Limiting Vital Services at GMHC: VIDEO

CNN Money recently took an in-depth look at how the government sequestration has negatively affected AIDS services organizations like Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York.

GmhcSince the budget cuts took effect, the center has had to cut its food pantry allocations, mental health and substance abuse counseling session and has also been forced to layoff several employees.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

The cuts, combined with steep rent at its West 33rd Street site, have forced the center to quietly begin plans to relocate despite having moved into the current location just two short years ago. DNAinfo reports:

Before the 2011 move, GMHC members warned that the high cost of the space was risky, and co-founder Larry Kramer blasted the organization's plans.

However, former CEO Marjorie Hill and then-chief operating officer Janet Weinberg pushed for the move to the West 33rd Street site, insiders said. Weinberg has since taken over as the organization's interim CEO after Hill was fired by GMHC's board in September

Continue reading "A Closer Look at How Budget Cuts Are Limiting Vital Services at GMHC: VIDEO" »


GMHC CEO Marjorie Hill Fired by Organization's Board

Marjorie Hill, the CEO of Gay Men's Health Crisis, will step down at the end of the month after being fired by the organization's board, DNAinfo reports:

Hill...sources within the organization said GMHC chairman Mickey Rolfe and the board ousted Hill amid accusations that she had harmed the decades-old organization by costing it millions of dollars in grants, losing dozens of talented staffers through layoffs and using an acidic management style.

"We couldn't keep a CEO there who had such a contemptuous relationship to staff and clients," said one insider, who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

GMHC posted this statement on its website:

The Board of Directors of GMHC and Dr. Marjorie J. Hill would like to announce that they have mutually decided that it is now an appropriate time for GMHC to identify a new leader and for Dr. Hill to pursue the next chapter in her career. "Leading GMHC during the last several years has truly been an honor, but after more than seven years as GMHCs CEO, longer than any other head of an HIV/AIDS service organization, it is time for me to pursue new opportunities," said Dr. Hill. "I care deeply about GMHC's mission and look forward to giving any help I can to ensure that the transition to new leadership goes smoothly."

"GMHC is most grateful to Dr. Hill for her many years of service not just to our organization but to the issues of prevention, treatment, and advocacy concerning the landscape of HIV and AIDS in this country," said Myron Sulzberger Rolfe, Chair of GMHC's Board of Directors. "We wish her the very best on the next chapter in her long career in public service."

Gay City News reports:

Contrary to a press release stating that Hill’s departure was a mutual decision between her and GMHC’s 25-member board of directors, sources within the organization told this newspaper that Hill was, in fact, fired by the board.

“Hill was completely blindsided by the firing, since she believed that she had solid core support on the board,” said a source, who asked to remain anonymous due to professional concerns, via email on September 15, adding that the ouster was initially orchestrated about six months ago by board chair Myron Sulzberger Rolfe and his board colleague Manuel Rivera.

Logo.gmhcHill was with the organization for seven years.

DNAinfo adds:

The executive's problems at GMHC, which provides health and social services to HIV-positive people and organizes the city's annual AIDS Walk, began to come to a head in July, when staff learned Hill would take a paid three-month sabbatical — just one week after many staffers had their salaries slashed, sources said.

Gay City News also reports that Hill's interactions with staff and clients over the past year have been "extremely contentious" and learned of her firing through several sources who confirmed the existence of a non-disclosure contract that bound the board to silence about Hill's termination. Hill has reportedly threatened to sue them.


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