The three Coordinating Centers for the Gilead COMPASS Initiative – Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Southern AIDS Coalition, and University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work have launched various trainings and funding opportunities for HIV/AIDS-related service organizations in the Southern United States. These concentrated investments in the Southern region provided by the COMPASS Coordinating Centers focus on addressing existing barriers to HIV prevention and care by increasing organizational capacity, building awareness, reducing HIV-related stigma, advancing education, sharing knowledge, and promoting the well being of individuals through mental health services and trauma-informed care.
The COMPASS Coordinating Centers seek for these trainings and funding opportunities to create long-term, sustainable growth in leaders, organizations, and communities within the South by supporting capacity building strategies that will strengthen the existing infrastructure and increase the availability of HIV-related services. Mr. Nic Carlisle, Executive Director of Southern AIDS Coalition, emphasizes that investing in local organizations and communities means supporting those at the forefront of HIV prevention and care efforts. “The South is full of brilliant, passionate, resilient people who work tirelessly to end the HIV epidemic despite unique socioeconomic, structural, political and cultural barriers,” he said. “The opportunities available through the Gilead COMPASS Initiative are based upon a very simple premise: local communities know best what they need to effectively address the epidemic in their local communities.”
In addition to the community-focused approach, the COMPASS Coordinating Centers highlight the uniqueness of their trainings and funding opportunities due to the emphasis on how systematic oppressions, stigma, and racial, ethnic, and gender inequities impact the Southern HIV epidemic. The Coordinating Centers are making intentional efforts to combat these larger structural issues throughout their combined work. They are also partnering with expert community consultants to build meaningful relationships with HIV/AIDS-related service organizations in order to create long-term change in the region. “What is unique about these community investment opportunities is that we are creating a team response that is actionable and committed to increasing local capacity in the South,” says Althea Hart, Assistant Director of Capacity Building and Community Engagement at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. “It’s a communal partnership that we are all entering for the shared aim of advancing HIV prevention and increasing services for people living with HIV.”
Requests for training and grant funding can be submitted online at www.gileadcompass.com. Training requests are accepted on a rolling basis and currently available to non-profit organizations with an HIV focus that are located in the nine Deep South states (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX). Community grants, ranging from $2,500 to $100,000, fund community-led HIV awareness and stigma reduction campaigns; organizational capacity building; and the development and implementation of interventions focused on wellness, mental health, trauma-informed care, and substance use. Eligible organizations for grant funding must be HIV focused, located in and doing work in one of the nine Deep South states, be a 501(c)(3) non-profit (or have a fiscal agent), and must complete grant related activities within a 12-month period. Most funding requests are also accepted on a rolling basis, however the deadline for the Transformative Grant submission, with funding up to $100,000, is October 29, 2018 by 11:59 PM EST.
Mr. Marcus Stanley, Grants Manager at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, spoke of the passion and excitement the staff across the three Coordinating Centers have for collaborating with local organizations and supporting the South through these investment opportunities. “The work we are doing affects the lives of individuals we hold near and dear to our hearts. We live, eat, sleep, and breathe in a lot of the communities in which we serve. We look forward to working with organizations, communities, and stakeholders to improve the capacity of the South and to address and ultimately end this great disparity.”
About Gilead COMPASS Initiative
The Gilead COMPASS (COMmitment to Partnership in Addressing HIV/AIDS in Southern States) Initiative is an unprecedented $100 million commitment over 10 years to support organizations working to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States. The South is most affected by the HIV epidemic, accounting for 54% of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States. In response to the Southern HIV epidemic, the initiative focuses on providing concentrated investments in the region to reduce HIV-related health disparities, build awareness, advance education, and reduce stigma. The Gilead COMPASS Initiative™ includes corporate giving programs, independent medical education grants, and the AIDSVu partnership. For more information, please visit www.gileadcompass.com.