Joining together to address the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States, the three COMPASS Coordinating Centers share a common mission, vision, and set of values for the initiative. We are also committed to partnering with organizations, advocates, researchers, policymakers, and communities who share similar values in their efforts to end the epidemic in the South.

Mission

Guided by local communities disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS in the Southern United States, the three COMPASS Coordinating Centers are working collaboratively to build capacity among organizations, institutions, and other entities to reduce HIV/AIDS disparities in care and advance equities in the Southern United States.

Vision

The COMPASS Initiative works to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States by partnering with local communities and supporting evidence-based solutions to meet the needs of people living with and impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Shared Values

We believe that our shared values are critical to a culturally competent and successful initiative. The following values guide our daily work and actions as part of the COMPASS Initiative:

Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (MIPA)

We recognize the meaningful involvement of people living with HIV in all levels of the initiative and aim to ensure that people living with and most affected by HIV are involved in every level of decision making.

Intersectionality, Emphasizing Racial and Social Justice

In our commitment to applying race, culture, gender, sexuality, language, class, age, and ability analyses throughout the different community investments, we recognize that social privilege and oppression influence access to and allocation of resources/services. For example, we recognize that racism, in both interpersonal and structural forms, needs to be addressed directly to achieve equity. Therefore, we affirm the importance of advancing justice by increasing access to resources/services among groups disproportionately affected by HIV.

Openness, Transparency and Learning

We strive to demonstrate and promote a culture of integrity. Our commitments to openness, transparency, and learning jointly express values that are vital to our work. Our work—both internal and external—is situated in complex institutional and cultural environments. We achieve our goals by being adaptive, learning organizations that are open and transparent.

Collaboration and Commitment

We base our collaborative efforts on mutual respect and mutual support, both internally and externally. In our commitment to developing trusting relationships, we aspire to treat everyone who works with us with respect and understanding. We are also committed to collaborating with and serving communities and areas with the greatest needs.