The Reunion Project 2019

Saturday, November 23rd 2019

9:30 AM - 4:00 PM


The Reunion Project was founded in 2015, by long-term HIV survivors Matt Sharp and Jeff Berry, who recognized that there is an entire group of individuals who had survived the epidemic but in many ways have been left behind by the community that they helped to build. The Reunion Project provides a safe space for HIV/AIDS survivors to come together and honor those that have weathered great adversity and tremendous loss. Matt and Jeff, believed that the stories of survivors deserved to be told and shared, to help those who suffered tremendous trauma find their way back out of isolation and depression that came as a result of surviving the epidemic.

About The Reunion Project

Historically, The Reunion Project summits consisted of a mix of facilitated discussions, panels, and presentations led by key researchers, advocates, and long-term survivors of HIV and AIDS. With support from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Merck, Walgreens, and TPAN, publisher of Positively Aware magazine, The Reunion Project has been to Chicago, Palm Springs, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Atlanta, and Seattle. Cities for 2018 include Washington, D.C. and New Orleans.

In 2018, The Reunion Project convened its first National Roundtable Forum, a community-led, diverse coalition of HIV/AIDS survivor advocates from across the U.S. More than 50 advocates, researchers, and people living with HIV gathered March 30–31, 2018, at the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences in Rancho Mirage, California, to discuss the needs and priorities of survivors of HIV and their allies. To see a full report of this meeting click here.

A National Steering Committee leads the group’s efforts and includes Sharp (San Francisco) and Berry (Chicago), along with Jeff Taylor, Palm Springs; Gregg Cassin, San Francisco; Chris Bartlett, Philadelphia; Waheedah Shabazz-El, Philadelphia; and Louis Spraggins, Chicago.

This year, Philadelphia is proudly hosting The Reunion Project in honor of those in the tri-state area who have been long in the fight. The venue for this year’s event will be hosted at the William Way LGBT Community Center, located at 1315 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Food, Fellowship, Education, and Fun will be a part of this celebratory event!

Guest Speaker Gregg Cassin

Gregg Cassin
Gregg Cassin

Gregg Cassin, a 30+ year survivor of HIV, is a powerfully charismatic speaker and facilitator, working with universal themes of how life’s challenges and suffering present us with growth-filled opportunities. He has worked with the LGBT, HIV/AIDS and youth communities for over 25 years with his lectures, retreats and workshops. Speaking in Catholic high schools 30+ years sharing his “Coming Out” story. The theme being that every human being has an obligation see our lives and the contribution we make as our own personal ministry. To recognize that the sharing of our truth- our light is our gift.

During the height of the epidemic Gregg began facilitating groups for people affected by HIV/AIDS. In 1989 he founded the San Francisco Healing Circle, an emotional/spiritual support group, and the San Francisco Center for Living, as well as leading conferences and retreats around the country with AIDS, Medicine and Miracles and now Shanti Project. He created “Honoring Our Experience”, a retreat program addressing the issues of long term survivors of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He also facilitates retreats for LGBTQ young adults and the LGBTQ asylee/refugee community. Gregg holds regular gatherings called REVIVAL! at St John the Evangelist Church. These gatherings bring long-term survivors together for the sharing of stories and to honor those we’ve lost and to celebrate the miracle of our own survival… healing the loss, depression and isolation many long-term survivors feel.

Gregg’s work honors the sacred inner journey each one of us is called to as queer people. Exploring the importance of self-love, connection, belonging and innocence. Story-telling remains the foundation of his work, the power of sharing one’s story and being the witness for others.

His contribution to the HIV/AIDS community has been recognized with the Certificate of Special Recognition from the U.S. Congress presented by Nancy Pelosi as well as honors from the City of San Francisco. He is seen in the ground-breaking documentaries “Absolutely Positive” and “That’s a Family!” He is an LGBT rights activist helping to organize and emcee anti-Prop 8 and DOMA rallies since 2008. He is a Dad and grandparent.

Guest Speaker Bryan C. Jones ( Prevention Access Campaign)

Bryan C. Jones
Bryan C. Jones

Bryan Jones has been thriving with AIDS for over 34 years and has been an Advocate\Activist for half that time He is a National Founding. Steering committee member of the International Undetectable = Untransmittable campaign {U=U}]

Bryan is a voting member of both The Cleveland Planning Council and the Ryan White Regional Advisory Group. Bryan has presented both nationally and internationally on Mass incarceration, Housing instability and HIV as well as U=U. Bryan was very instrumental in the forming of the Ohio health modernization movement whose mission is to modernize the HIV non-disclosure laws in Ohio. He has been a part of the Sero project HIV Is Not A Crime three consecutive training developing policies and practices for states around the country who are Modernizing and revising their HIV criminalization laws.

In 2015 Bryan was honored with the 2015 Heritage Day LGBTQ Community Advocate Award sponsored by the Cleveland Mayors office, the LGBTQ Center of Greater Cleveland, Cleveland City Council, and The Ohio House of Representatives. He has been honored by Poz magazines POZ 100 advocates twice. He is the proud recipient of The Equitas Health 2016 Midwestern Trailblazer Award for lifelong commitment to the LGBTQ community and HIV\AIDS and the Equitas Health 2016 Midwestern Community Advocate Award. Bryan also has performed his one-man theatrical piece throughout the U. S and abroad entitled “AIDS and I Die Slowly.” Bryan is a proud Rattler and Graduate of Florida A&M University with a B. S in Broadcast Journalism. He was recently chosen by the. as one of their 2019 game changers in HIV advocacy.

Location Details

William Way Community Center

Location Address

1315 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Contact Info

(215) 732-2220

Spotlight On

Karam Mounzer, MD

Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring.

Learn More about Spotlight On
Dr. Karam Mounzer

Dr. Mario Cruz

Dr. Mario CruzDr. Cruz is a board certified pediatrician who serves as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He has presented and/or published in the fields of community violence and domestic violence prevention, quality improvement, behavioral health, curriculum development and mentorship. In 2019 he received the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award for Innovations in Healthcare.

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