Are you a Same Gender Loving man of color?
Are you over the age of 50, living with HIV?
Do you want to THRIVE and not just Survive?
This is what we are going to do
The mission of Silver Lining Project is to create and maintain a safe space, both virtual and physical, where Mature African American men living with HIV can share, discuss and advocate for issues impacting our community. We will host meetings to present information, engage in community outreach, and host social events designed to enhance the lives of our members. A sub group of THRIVESS, we share the same mission for our target demographic, Men of Color living with HIV over the age of 50. We realize that there are issues with Aging with HIV, specifically those over 50, with being Gay, with being Black For this reason we are putting together programs to support that demographic.
Meet the Silver Lining Project Staff
On May 15th THRIVESS conducted its first staff meeting and as part of the THRIVESS staff, three very talented brothers officially began their roles leading and supporting this project. They come with great amount of experience, but more importantly, they bring passion, desire and a love for the work, for each other and for the men they support.
I been working with THRIVE SS as a volunteer supporting black men living with HIV for the last 4 years. Particularly, those mature men around my age. My passion has always been politics and policy. I am the co-founder and co-director of PASAN, the Political and Social Action Network. I represent THRIVE SS on the USPLHIV Caucus Steering Committee, where I am co-chair of the Federal Policy sub committee. most recently I co-authored the Silver Lining Project and now serve as the Program Manager.
A strong believer in Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDs, I work hard to keep black men living with HIV aware of public policy and politics and how to advocate effectively. I am excited to bring meaningful, effective programs to reach my brothers so we can fight Stigma, deal with Loss, Survivors Guilt, and face all the other challenges that men of color face, while aging and living with HIV, while we make our voices heard.
Darryl (DC) Branch
15 years living with HIV, one day at a time.
In Sept., 2004 my life changed.
10 years later, in 2014 I decided I wanted to make change in my life and the life of men 50 +
First let’s change the face of what a man living with HIV looks like, especially those men 50 plus. So in Sept 2018 I asked men I knew to come to a photoshoot. “Let’s take pictures and fellowship.” What happened after that was phenomenal.
We started Mature Sexy Men chat group and that became The Silver Lining group
I want men 50 plus to understand this battle is not a fight they have to fight alone.
I attended BLOC (Black Leaders of Color) training and it really lit a Fire in my Soul.
I want us to support each other and make sure we are reaching out and getting each other into care.
I am the Program Coordinator for the Silver Lining Project and my journey has just begun.
I plan to take my place at the table and be heard.
My journey with HIV began 18 years with my diagnosis. At the time I initially spoke with my case manager Maria, she said you don’t need managing as you’ll be leading folks. From that point I learning about the virus and sharing my knowledge. I’m addition to peer counseling, I’ve served as chairperson on the HIV Planning Council, community advisor member with the NIH Clinical Trials group, in addition to attending the Black Aids Institute. My most important work is/has been mentoring/advocating for brothers who are HIV+ and identifying ways to balance life and the diagnosis.
I’m excited about what lies ahead with the my journey at ThriveSS and looking forward to the many endless possibilities on helping my brothers.
What they say after we meet
I had a full day yesterday. Went to Piedmont Park ( a place i used to hate going to) to attend my first Indigenous House party. Ran into folks i haven't seen in almost 20 years, when i first came to Atlanta. Got to hear some great house music and overall, just fellowship with folks i love and care deeply for.
Ended the day with a Game of thrones marathon with my big Sis Paula Marti, leading up to the last episode. My Sundays ate usually my day to stay in bed after a week of activity, but i hot out, had fun, good food, good company and good music.
I began to reflect what made me go into seclusion and realized, it was right after my Mom passed and the devastation that i felt. I did not want to be around people and just made my home my refuge. That became my SOL ( standard of living) and the norm for me.
I got so used to it, i did not realize just how much i was missing just having human contact.
My excuse was monetary( cost to much), spacial capacity, ( too many people)
Location ( don't want to go or can't find)
Or JUST TOO TIRED.
15 years flew by in the blink of an eye and i had not realized it had been that long all the excuses were just that.
YESTERDAY has shown me that i still have a lot of life left in me and i need to get out there and enjoy it.
I came put of one closet years ago, only to go into a different closet and got comfortable.
The hinges came off yesterday and now I will start to LIVE.
To Claude Everett, Malcolm Reid and the rest of the Guys at the Silver The Silver Lining Project, thank you for caring enough to keep pressing in a loving was and not giving up. You guys made a few cracks in the wall that allowed enough sunshine to come through that helped me decide to just smash that motherfucker and step out into the light.
This bird is flying once again, thanks to YOU ALL.
~ Renard P. Atlanta Ga 5/19/2019
I wake with a smile on my face, why? You see last night I met a group of gentleman, that made me feel loved. I didn't feel like I was alone in this crazy world. I knew my move to Atlanta had a purpose. I saw that purpose last night when I stepped out of my comfort zone and attended a meet and greet. These men had no other motive, but to show love and compassion. To say, hi, I've been there too.
So I say thank you for giving me a safe haven to let go. I say thank you for letting me breath, for letting me exhale. .
~ Marvin Taylor Wilson - Atlanta, Ga. 6/22/2019