THRIVE SS Staff
Talented Staff ...Greater Capacity...
Larry Scott-Walker, Baltimore native, is an author, poet and proud black gay man living with HIV. Shortly after coming to grips with his sexuality, Larry was introduced to the works of James Baldwin, Marlon Riggs and Essex Hemphill. He fell in love with their passion, persistence and their use of language to call attention to the injustices faced by Black people. Larry’s passion for community would land him working at various community based and AIDS service organizations (ASO) before cofounding Transforming HIV Resentments into Victories Everlasting Support Services (THRIVE SS Inc) in 2015. THRIVE has cultivated the largest support network for Black gay men living with HIV in the country and has made tremendous strides in redefining what support, linkage to care and HIV stigma reduction looks like for this vulnerable community. Larry often states, “there is no pill to rebuild will” meaning that no biomedical intervention can reverse the damage done by stigma and hate and it is the community’s responsibility to love, heal and fortify itself.
Director of Operations and Finance
Dwain Bridges Jr, is a Detroit native, business owner, real estate agent, and Co-founder of THRIVE SS Inc. Dwain developed a passion for helping people at a young age and in 2007 he obtained an Associate’s Degree in Human Services. Mr. Bridges has worked at organizations such as The Michigan AIDS Fund, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Wayne State University, the Detroit Health Department, AID Atlanta and AbsoluteCARE Medical Center and Pharmacy. In 2011, Dwain received his Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration and his License to practice Real Estate.
Having years of experience working in Community Health, Dwain has had the
opportunity to severe on several Community Advisory and Planning boards. In 2013, Dwain moved to Atlanta, Georgia to live out a dream of his deceased sister. While in Atlanta he struggled to find a sense of community, support and healthcare. After finding out his HIV status he decided to go back to school. In 2015, Dwain happily received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration and vowed to utilize his skills to save his community. Dwain is one of three co-founders of THRIVE Support Services and currently serves as the Director of Operations
With a passion for the improvement of marginalized lives, Lorenzo commits himself to advocacy through support and service. A Jamaica native and former NYC resident, Lorenzo brings his experiences to his service for community in effort to improve the holistic well-being of every person he meets in whatever capacity he’s able to assist in. Volunteering in an outreach aspect for years revealed to Lorenzo the depth of the need in the community of black same gender loving men and women. It was upon realizing the severity of health disparities that inspired Lorenzo to commit himself to tackling them. Using his passion and continuing education in psychology and sociology, Lorenzo aims to heal with words tailored to increase self-acceptance, communal love, forgiveness and all aspects that frees one to live the most fulfilling life they’re able to. Service is not new to Lorenzo, while serving as a Marine Corps Sergeant, he came to understand that his purpose is to help people and have since internalized it as a source of motivation that themes his every day.
Tyson Isaiah Evans, has been a community advocate, entrepreneur, and creative strategist for 10 years. After attending Oakwood University, he spent several years gaining experience in the entertainment industry in various positions from background vocalist to executive producer of one of the largest Black Independent Theatre Productions in DC and Atlanta. This unique experience and background informs Evans’ approach to his community work addressing the HIV epidemic, health inequity, and economic disparities. Since formally coming to work in HIV in 2015, he has served as Outreach Coordinator for START, Senior Program Manager for DC Care Consortium’s Ryan White Program, Online Community Manager at HIV.gov, and now proudly serves as the Linkage Manager at THRIVE SS. Tyson has a life-long commitment to helping others discover and build their power with a philosophy of love and affirmation.
Silver Lining Project Manager
Malcolm Reid has been working with THRIVE SS to support black men living with HIV for the last 4 years. He is the founder and Program Manager of the Silver Lining Project, and co author of the Silver Skills Curriculum, an intervention designed to support and assist black gay men over the age of 50 living with HIV to deal with the effects of Aging with HIV, as well as PTSD, Trauma, Loss and Stigma while living with HIV. In this role he represents THRIVE Support Services on the SAGE’s HIV and Aging Policy Action Committee.
Malcolm is also very passionate about Policy. He is the co-founder and co-director of PASAN, the Political and Social Action Network. He represents THRIVE SS on the USPLHIV Caucus Steering Committee, where he is co-chair of the Federal Policy sub committee. He also represents County district 2 on the Fulton County HIV/AIDS Care Prevention and Policy Advisory Committee
Michael Morris was born in the southern valley of California just outside of the Mojave desert in the city of Bakersfield. As an adolescent, Michael moved to northern California and eventually worked to establish his high schools first Gay Student Union.
Michael moved to Atlanta GA in 2005 and served with Americorps Hands on Atlanta program in 2007. Since his reintroduction to the non-profit sector, Michael found out he is a person living with HIV. This diagnosis became a catalyst to serve the community of people in need wherever that need may be.
Michael’s educational background is in Information Technology while his experience is in customer care and client services. It is with these attributes that Michael selflessly serves the community in effort to bring an end to the epidemic.
A native of NYC (born and raised), Joe has lived in Oakland California, Tampa Florida and now presently in Atlanta Georgia. He has an Associates of Science in Business Administration degree and have actively been involved with HIV advocacy and policy for over 18 years. During this journey he has served as Chairperson of the Sacramento EMEA HIV Ryan White Planning council, served as a Board member with the Center for AIDS Research, Education and Services, Co-Chairperson of National Community Advisory Board/NIH Adult Clinical Trials Group, Chairperson UC Davis Adult Clinical Trials Group Consumer Advisory Group, a fellow of the Black Aids Institute/African American HIV University, attended various NMAC trainings (People of Color Training-San Diego, Regional Training – Washington, DC), the recipient of Northern California Grantmakers – Community Planning Leader’s Summit, and served as an American Red Cross African-American HIV Education & Prevention Trainer/Sacramento Ca. Currently, he is one of the Project Coordinators with the THRIVE SS’ Silver Lining Project since April 2019 where extra care is paid to maintaining safe spaces for mature African American men living with HIV over 50 to share information, engage in community outreach and advocate for issues impacting their community.
Darryl "D.C." Branch
Darryl Branch has been living with HIV since 2004 and has been undetectable for fifteen years. Two years ago, he decided to do a photo shoot for men living with HIV that are fifty years or older. After that he participated in a BLOC training; which is where he initially had the spark. He now wants to make sure that all men living with HIV fifty years and older are in care and are not suffering from or in isolation. Darryl is now Project Coordinator for the Silver Lining Project. He looks forward to Speaking at conferences and moving further in his careers working with THRIVE SS, a nonprofit organization helping men (some fifty plus) LWHIV. His motto is: Treat other as you would like to be treated!
“An innovative and cutting edge spiritual leader”, the Reverend Elder Claude E. Bowen credits his deep roots of Liberation Theology and extensive involvement in Social Justice to the many “parents” that nurtured and promoted his undying quest for a spiritual renaissance. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Reverend Bowen pledged an early commitment to serve the disenfranchised and voiceless of the community. In the time of great political uncertainty, he enlisted into the United States Marine, only to serve four years in the Viet Nam War. After an Honorable Discharge from the Marines, Reverend continued his public service as an employee for the City Clerk’s Office of Los Angeles and the United States Postal System.
Working in the HIV arena from 1996 to the present, at the he has worked diligently to address the disparities in access to health care within the communities of color as a Peer Educator, Community Outreach Worker and Director of Human Resources for the Minority AIDS Project in Los Angeles California.
Currently, on the staff of THRIVESS as co-author and facilitator of the Silver Lining Project, President of Ubuntu a consulting firm founded with Kevin Williams to continue his work in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Education and Life Coaching. He is a Scholar from the Center of Disease Control HIV Learning Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Psychology (focus on Human Behavior Analysis) and a Masters of Divinity.