Mark, Lucero & Vols @ HIV Speaks on Jones St. 2019

At the Crossroads: A Message From Executive Director Mark Cassity

THP Executive Director Mark Cassity (photo credit - Greensboro News & Record)
THP Executive Director Mark Cassity (photo credit – Greensboro News & Record)

Friends & family,

Mere months ago, we found ourselves at a crossroads not only as an agency but as a story, prayer and dream. Together, we took a deep, communal breath and turned to our hearts and our people. Then, we did what movements do. We moved.

Our call to action and unity has been rewarded in extraordinary fashion, resulting in a robust, impassioned and full board of directors; an empowered client advisory board; new local partnerships with Faith Action and the Greensboro Pulpit Forum among others; planning and brand evolution strategies; new and renewed commitments and alliances in High Point; financial stability; our shiny new Bead Bash fundraiser; a tangibly uncompromising stance on inclusion and equity; and a staff whose capacities and engagement are equaled only by fierce commitments to justice and healing.

THP Executive Director, ChiCAS Project Coordinator Lucero Refugio Aviles and advocates at HIV Speaks on Jones Street 2019 advocacy day in Raleigh, NC
Mark Cassity, ChiCAS Project Coordinator Lucero Refugio Aviles and advocates at HIV Speaks on Jones Street 2019 advocacy day in Raleigh, North Carolina

To a new executive director, the pace and breadth of our work can be dizzying, but you simply cannot hang around Higher Ground for 20 years without learning a thing or two about centeredness, nourishment, hope and a confidence grounded in those we get to journey alongside. Twenty years ago (or even five for that matter), we couldn’t say or see what is before us now: the conceivable end to a horrific disease and the soul-crushing stigma that has always been part-and-parcel of the virus. They make very good pills these days to deal with the former; the latter requires a call to love and humanity, a call THP has heeded for 34 years and counting.

The end of HIV has never been simply a matter of the heroic work of science or technology or medicine, but a matter of will. And all good matters of will are matters of love.

You’re our heroes. Thank you for all you’ve given. Thank you for all we’ll do over the next year, together.

Mark Cassity, THP Executive Director