The Silver Lining Project will be a grass
root community-driven demonstration project that will be set up to evaluate its
impact and effectiveness. The overarching goal of the Silver Lining Project is to
use this peer-created and peer-led interventions to address the isolation, lack of
the agency, HIV stigma, lowered self-esteem and value that is endured by many
Black gay men over 50 living with HIV (BGMLH).
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.
The Silver Skills Curriculum
The Silver Skills Curriculum is a workshop written and designed by black gay men over 50 living with HIV for black men over 50 living with HIV. The workshop is designed to inform, enlighten and inspire you. Enabling you to conquer internal and external stigma. Our goal is to support you, and keep you whole while listening to your stories. When you complete this curriculum, our hope is that you will want to be more involved in advocating for yourself and your community.
The workshops consist of four modules and 6 webinars
Module 1: HIV and Aging
The HIV and Aging in-person session is supported by the following activities
Webinar - HIV 101 - recorded for 24-hour access
Learn the basics of HIV. How it is and is NOT transmitted and what medical science is doing to end the epidemic.
Training class: INSTI and R3 linkage - Learn how to provide testing services and link people to care.
Module 2: Trauma and PTSD
Webinar - Cultural Humility - will be recorded for 24-hour access
Learn how to talk about HIV with people of diverse backgrounds in a way that effectively brings them to care.
Webinar - Health and Wellness - will be recorded for 24-hour access
It’s not just about HIV. You can control your Health and Wellness.
Module 3: Loss and Depression
Webinar - Spirituality - recorded for 24-hour access
Spirituality is not just a religion. It’s not just weekly service. Spirituality is your individual relationship with your God, Spirit or Universe. Let’s talk about how your Spirituality helps you deal with Loss
Module 4: Stigma
Webinar - Self Love and HIV Acceptance - recorded for 24-hour access
Tools for you to show love for you, every day!
Webinar - Policy and Advocacy - will be recorded for 24-hour access
We love ourselves. Now let’s fight for ourselves. Learn how advocates have fought and won in the struggle for LBGTQ rights and HIV care. What are the battles today and how can we be prepared for the battles of the future?
Let’s show the world, We THRIVE. And we are beautiful!!!
A weekend in the mountains of North Georgia. Time to reflect on the "New You". Time to get to know your brothers and build last friendships
Thursday - Sunday (TBD)
If you are interested in attending the Silver Skills Curriculum, please provide your name and email address below
We'll get in touch with you soon.
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