COMPASS Initiative® Funds 32 Organizations to Transform the HIV Epidemic in the South
Atlanta, Georgia (November 30, 2018) – In recognition of the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day and in support of
We are excited to officially introduce our 2022 Transformative Grant Partners! These 30 organizations provide exemplary community-driven solutions that improve the health and well-being of those impacted by HIV in the South! Over the next 18 months, we look forward to working together to reduce the burden of HIV in the South, change the conversation, save lives, and eventually end the epidemic once and for all. Read press release to learn more about the 2022 Transformative Grant.
Emory University Rollins School of Public Health COMPASS Coordinating Center
At Frontline, we uphold our mission by implementing an integrated strategy of direct legal services, peer-supported linkage to care, case management and HIV public policy advocacy and education. Currently, in Louisiana, we coordinate a regular series of specialized clinics, centering the express needs of people living with HIV, in state and parish prisons, and in rural and northern/western Louisiana parishes. Frontline Legal Services is now opening an office near Atlanta, Georgia to bring our services to the individuals living with HIV in rural Georgia, as well as the currently and recently incarcerated PLWH in Department of Corrections (DOC) facilities and county jails. The proposed project involves outreach to various community-based organizations throughout Georgia, to learn from them, collaborate with them, to coordinate which services Frontline can provide to them as they conduct linkage and outreach to the populations they serve, and to establish connections with the administrators in DOC facilities and county jails. Frontline’s vision with this outreach is to bring the power of collaboration to the marginalized communities we hope to serve, through these partner organizations, and to reach the formerly incarcerated living with HIV and ensure they are linked to services. This project will only be successful with the support and involvement of the Frontline team and the various organizations we will link up with in coordinating old-school, as well as new and innovative ways to find and reach those within the communities who may need HIV-related services.
The Counter Narrative Project (CNP) shifts narratives about Black gay men to change policy and improve lives. With support from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health COMPASS Transformative Grant, CNP will implement the Building Leadership to Shift Narratives project. This project will bolster CNP’s capacity and infrastructure in four areas: finance and administration, resource development, program evaluation, and communications and marketing. To grow capacity in finance and administration, CNP will assess and streamline its processes around accounts payable and accounts receivable. For increasing resource development, a fundraising campaign focused on individual donors will be developed, along with a strategy for CNP to participate in an annual fundraising day. To have a better understanding of the successes of the organization, CNP will focus its efforts on designing and implementing an evaluation plan for the overall programmatic work of the organization. And to better share those successes, CNP will increase its communications and marketing capacity by creating a communications plan that will include the redesign and launch of its website along with creating images that reflect the work that CNP does.
SEEDS of Healing (SOH) was founded in 2016, and we are beyond grateful to see our efforts materializing into culture change, thriving partnerships, and expanded programming. Increased resources over the past year have enabled us to employ our first staff – local organizers who serve as community health workers, thus expanding our capacity to provide education and mobile testing at social events in our region and our local university. The growth of our organization is imminent. We want to ensure both our growth and impact will be sustainable by providing sound organizational-level interventions. We will invest in internal development for our board, staff, and HR practices. This includes enrollment in a locally-led Governance Leadership and Management program for our executive director and board, a data-informed equity workshop, and a facilitated board retreat for the purpose of revisiting the organization’s mission, vision, long-term strategic planning, and executive committee succession. Also, we plan to develop our staff through investing in embodiment training, facilitation training, and courses to provide instruction for technical skills and use of software. Lastly, we will contract with a local HR professional to develop an employee manual, and HR policies.
CrescentCare proposes a Transformative Capacity Building project to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the organization and develop a strategic plan and recommendations for improvements. CrescentCare has grown rapidly over the last few years and this project would greatly assist in improving the organization and optimizing its ability to continue to meet the needs of individuals living with HIV in the greater New Orleans area. CrescentCare would hire a consultant to conduct an assessment and assist with strategic priorities. Also requested is professional development for senior leadership. New Orleans is one of the areas hardest hit by the HIV epidemic and CrescentCare plays an ongoing major role in addressing this crisis as the largest HIV provider for the area. The goal of the project is to prepare CrescentCare for continued growth and capacity in serving individuals living with HIV in the greater New Orleans area through improved organizational planning and operations. The long term goal is expanded capacity to serve individuals living with HIV and improved health outcomes for those individuals. A total of $100,000 is requested for the project period.
Hope House is requesting funding to update our technology to improve communications and outcome measurements. Hope House has tripled in size of staff and number of clients served in the last six years. Due to this growth Hope House has been putting measures in place to ensure quality of services as we grow. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit our community, Hope House had to get creative in figuring out how to also provide some services remotely. Unfortunately, our technology did not support these efforts and we had to find funding to obtain necessary upgrades to continue services. We were able to make some updates but are still lacking an effective phone system and data tracking system. After nearly two years of searching for the most effective products for what we need we have finally made the decision to move forward with a new phone system and updating our current database. Funding for this project would support the implementation of these new products and systems to improve the overall capacity of the organization.
ASHwell is requesting funds from the Gilead Compass Initiative to conduct a thorough evaluation of our current policies, procedures, and programs and develop a 5-year strategic plan to enhance and guide our agency’s health and sexual wellness services. The ultimate aim of this project is to strengthen our agency’s capacity to effectively serve more HIV-positive and at-risk individuals in Central Texas, especially underserved populations like men who have sex with men (MSM) of color. To achieve our project objectives, ASHwell will contract a strategic planning consultant to evaluate how our agency can best utilize our resources to pursue sustainable growth while fulfilling our mission and achieving our goals. ASHwell will also establish a Community Advisory Board to provide insight and recommendations on how our agency can better meet the needs of the communities we serve. At the end of the grant period, ASHwell will produce a 5-year strategic development plan to guide our community-wide efforts to end the HIV epidemic.
Since 2014, RWIA has made an impact in rural communities through provision of education, empowerment and linkages support. RWIA has become an integral part of the Southern HIV landscape and response in rural Georgia. An internal assessment of its achievements however point to a pressing Need to expand its organizational capability and capacity in the near future. The agency hereby seeks to be a significant, trusted-by-community player in the 2030 Ending the Epidemic (EtE) Initiative in the rural South. For RWIA, the opportunity to galvanize the community is profound. To accomplish this futuristic goal and reach, RWIA must engage in a focused, comprehensive organizational capacity building process as offered by COMPASS Initiative. RWIA further seeks to expand its potential return on investment and re-engineer into a high performing, nonprofit organization from the inner to the outer. The beneficiaries from RWIA’s engagement efforts will be the present sole agency staff person, future staff and volunteers, present and future board members and a larger 10-county radius of women, men, young adults, youth and families in the Southern regions of rural Georgia.
AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc. (AFH) seeks $100,000 to build organizational capacity that will support AFH’s mission of ending the HIV epidemic in the greater Houston area. This funding addresses the need for an AFH satellite location that serves Midtown, Downtown, and Third Ward Houston, thus allowing AFH to better serve African-Americans vulnerable to and living with HIV. In Houston, 43% of new HIV diagnoses between 1999 and 2021 were among African Americans, while African-Americans make up just 19% of Houston’s population. AFH knows that it takes a targeted and intentional approach to respond to the need for equitable access to care, which we believe is an issue of justice. This capacity building grant is one such approach. The Midtown Houston satellite service location will address gaps in service and eliminate many barriers faced by individuals when seeking care and services outside of their neighborhoods, especially transportation issues. While we collaborate closely with healthcare and social services agencies across the region, the reality is that 86% of persons who could benefit from PrEP in Houston/Harris County are not on PrEP today. Over half of persons living with HIV in our area are not virally suppressed. To end the HIV epidemic, we must be passionate and laser-focused on ending it for everyone, and that means locating our care and services closer to communities who will benefit from this second location. The satellite service location will provide outreach, post-release case management, housing intake and assessment with linkage to our 8 supportive housing programs, food and transportation assistance, mental health and substance use disorder counseling, linkage to area health and social service assets, HIV/STI testing, STI treatment, PrEP and nPEP, rapid-start HIV treatment, and even primary care services for persons with Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act insurance, or private insurance. AFH is confidently positioned to execute this proposed project. Our experience, expertise, and capacity to implement new initiatives ensures that by December 2023, Midtown Houston will have an AFH service location specifically tailored to meet the needs of the local community and deliver equitable access to quality care.
The proposed project will further our efforts through the Dennis de Leon Sustainable Leadership Institute to launch a new cohort of seasoned and emerging trans and gender-nonconforming Latinx advocates and leaders in the South to build their capacity to share their stories, develop messaging, meet with legislators, and grow their relationships with Spanish-language media outlets. We will also convene a one-day training institute specifically targeting Spanish language media sources to encourage more robust reporting regarding issues impacting the trans community and to educate on affirming language, effects of the stigmatization of trans communities, and best practices when reporting trans-related issues, including legislation impacting trans communities. We will increase the capacity of Latinx transgender leaders in the South to cultivate relationships with the media, as well as Spanish-language media sources expanding their areas of coverage. Participants of both institutes will use practical approaches to further regional short-term and long-term advocacy goals.
Open Hand Atlanta is applying for a Transformative Grant in order to enact and enhance our efforts revolving around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access (DEIA). With these funds we will work with a DEIA consultant who will conduct a DEIA assessment of Open Hand Atlanta as an organization. This assessment will review internal polices as well as our program offerings for clients to ensure equity and enhance access. After developing the assessment, the consultant will create a DEIA plan in collaboration with members of our Board of Directors and staff. Implementation of this plan will result in updated organization polices, new programs and new access to DEIA related resources for all Open Hand Atlanta staff. The project will include two educational workshops for all staff and leadership, pre- and post surveys and the opportunity for selected staff and leadership to attend a DEIA certificate program offered by Cornell University’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program.
Out My Closet is an action oriented organization, mobilizing its programs to deliver resources to poor and distressed LGBTQ youth, transgender women of color and women with families in shelters and other marginalized groups. The organization operates a mobile resource unit presently a traveling resource shop set up in the vicinities of collaborating organizations throughout South Florida. OMC has been in service for eight years and has donated over 31K articles to underserved groups. Out My Closet’s Mobile Pop-Up-Shop is a unique program designed to increase access for clients in search of clothing resources, supportive services and social service referrals. The organization outreaches community organizations and discusses our services. The additional supportive services offered by Out My Closet at Pop-Up-Shop locations include, individual and group peer counseling, mental health and sexual health education, and referrals to other local agencies for clients that may have a more specific need. Presently, there is no other mobile organization offering the same amalgam of resources as Out My Closet, fostering an empowered community through service, education and support. OMC has already collaboratively conducted our services and offered resources with many South Florida agencies including, Miami Bridge, Pridelines, SunServe, Champan Partnership, Lotus House and Arianna Center. With funding OMC will expand their reach and offer resources and knowledge to other organizations that support marginalized groups.
The objective of this project is to create a Harm Reduction “Organizational Tool-Kit” in an effort to better structure Harm Reduction organizations and improve their operations and competitiveness when applying for public and private funding, while bringing them into compliance of federal and state regulations concerning legal and regulatory statutes. Development of the tool-kit will center on communal adaptation or creation of policies and procedures by a committee, lead by Florida Harm Reduction Collective, with representation from multiple Harm Reduction organizations located in southern states and Oklahoma. The committee will use both Harm Reduction and Restorative Justice lenses to compile a complete set of Governance Documents in compliance with federal and state laws, IRS and other regulatory requirements, and Generally Accepted Accounting and Business Practices with the aim of meeting public sector good governance frameworks built upon six underlying principles: accountability, transparency and openness, integrity, stewardship, efficiency, and leadership. When completed the tool-kit will include, but is not limited to, ethics policies, corporate by-laws, human resources and anti-discrimination/sexual harassment policies, Fair Chance Hiring practices, and procurement procedures. The end goal of the project is to make the “Organizational Tool-kit” available, “open source,” across regional and national Harm Reduction, Sex Worker, and HIV/AIDS activist groups websites and social media platforms. Once available, the committee will embark on a Best Practices Technical Assistance webinar series to increase the necessity of Organizational Governance in eligibility for and management of large federal and state grants. To do so, the project will leverage relationships with regional and national Harm Reduction, HIV, and other grassroots organizations. The series will begin with How to Apply for Incorporation and Charity Status in Your State and finish with Where to Now That Your Organization is Prepared to Develop a Strategic Plan, with sessions on Human Resources in a Harm Reduction Setting, Fair Chance Hiring Practices and How the Drug Free Workplace Act Effects Your Organization, and Fiscal Policies and Procedures: A Guide to Managing Your Grants. Lastly, and if feasible, the project will offer individualized mentoring and assistance with applications for state and federal incorporation and state regulations governing not-for-profit agencies.
The Reginald & Dionne Smith Foundation is committed to developing and deploying communication activities to increase knowledge, awareness and access to high-quality HIV care and/or prevention services and to support community action. Two key steps of the strategy are first to understand the impact of social determinants on the populations The RDSF serves, and secondly, to use networked media technologies to connect community members in need to multiple sources of online/offline wellness information and services, peer to peer engagement, and healing solutions as it pertains to HIV (www.TheRDSF.com). The project will grow and strengthen our executive and volunteer staff’s ability to understand the needs of people living in metro Atlanta, suburban and rural Georgia, by working with local and national organizations prioritizing the HIV needs of heterosexual Black men and women, and persons with disabilities. This community level intervention promotes well-being by engaging and connecting community members to private virtual groups, townhalls, podcasts, and media campaigns that focus on changing community norms, attitudes, awareness, and behaviors of our priority group. We will address the stigma experienced by heterosexual Black men and women, and persons with disabilities disproportionately. By providing culturally competent imagery, events, awareness, testing, and educational opportunities, we will create behavioral change amongst our priority population, and give agency to this cyclically excluded group. The RDSF will improve our collaborative relationships with community based organizations and consumers in order to support improved health outcomes for those we serve. Our efforts will also improve our capability to provide HIV and viral hepatitis education, advocacy, resources, and linkage to care for Black families in metropolitan Atlanta, rural Georgia, and the entire U.S via the web. In collaboration with local and regional partners AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Black Leadership AIDS Crisis Coalition (BLACC), GA Dept. of Public Health, WRFG 89.3FM Atl, The Serenity Club, and The Heather Ivy Society, we are creating the Wellness, Awareness & Recovery Virtual Network Community to bring together people to engage in long term recovery from HIV and substance use disorders, and to build practices and habits that help to support, facilitate, or drive increased access to care or prevention services that lead to improved health or reduce disparities for people living with HIV/AIDS in metro Atlanta and rural Georgia.
Southern AIDS Coalition COMPASS Coordinating Center
Gender Benders currently provides a range of advocacy, education and support services for TGNC individuals. This includes an annual multi-day retreat for TGNC adults (Camp GB), trans health resource development and provision. Additionally, they will hold training and leadership development programs, HIV prevention, intervention programs and supportive online spaces.
H.Y.P.E. to Empower, Inc. (H.Y.P.E.), is an HIV health education service provider and youth development and advocacy organization based in Atlanta, Georgia. The organization serves those who are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS, including young people of color. HYPE’s mission is to empower leadership in youth, young adults, and families to transform lives and communities through education. These services directly address the stigma, trauma, economic marginalization, and health care bias.
H.E.R.O.E.S is a nonprofit organization located in rural northeast Louisiana. H.E.R.O.E.S was founded in 1995 after struggling within a healthcare system that constantly said ‘no’ to the needs of women and children with HIV/AIDS. Since 1999 H.E.R.O.E.S has provided programs that focus on sexual health. Our programs focus on making sure participants are aware of their rights, aware of available services, and educated about their options. H.E.R.O.E.S also sponsors events and works with our local police department to educate women and girls about sexual violence prevention.
The Borderland Rainbow Center is located in El Paso, TX. Our mission is to create a community space in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex (LGBTQI) people and their allies can heal, grow, and empower themselves and others. The BRC connects LGBTQ+ people to resources for improved physical and mental health, economic stability, legal rights, education, spiritual and cultural enrichment.
Arkansas Black Gay Men’s Forum (BGM FORUM) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization providing services that address health, social and economic disparities among Black Americans with the mission to empower, uplift, and unite Black gay men through interactive dialogue and specific programs. ARBGMF serves as a think tank on pressing social, economic, and political issues.They strive to build partnerships with organizations and individuals committed to the empowerment of black gay men.
LILA Latinx LGBTQI is a non-profit organization whose purpose is the outreach, education, advocacy and empowerment of the Latinx LGBTQ+ community and their loved ones.
Community Health- Prevention Intervention Education & Research (Community Health-PIER was established in June 2017 as an entity dedicated to increasing health equity in the Mississippi Delta and rural communities throughout Mississippi. Community Health-PIER was founded by a brother and sister (Cedric and Gloria Sturdevant) who witness considerable health disparities and death from diseases that was both treatable and preventable. Community Health-PIER provides a range of services to help the community enhance their knowledge of health service and tool available. Our services focused on designing and delivering an innovative range of trainings and programs which includes HIV education, prevention and testing, agriculture and gardening trainings, heart and breast health awareness, business development, personal development, advocacy, culturally competent trainings and a list of other services and training to help encourage healthy and thriving communities.
EAC offers free prevention services, including HIV, STD, and Hepatitis C screenings in communities around the state. We also provide sexual health, HIV prevention education, distribute free condoms, and facilitate education and navigation services for PrEP. EAC’s team also works tirelessly to reach communities across the state with HIV prevention education through innovative offerings like the EAC Speaks! Podcast, The EPIC Blog, PrEP for the Night Podcast, and our faith-based outreach program called Service Not Status.EAC’s mission is centered on empowering people to support one another. Evidence of this is seen through our unique programming for people with HIV, including a comprehensive HIV Services Directory called the Arkansas Resource Hub, our Positive Miles statewide transportation and linkage-to-care program, and our E-P-I-C+ Peer Mentorship Program, a unique peer-to-peer training program designed to develop and encourage peers as leaders in their local communities.
The Pride Center at Equality Park celebrates 29 years of service in 2022. Our mission states: “We provide a welcoming, safe space–an inclusive home–that celebrates, nurtures, and empowers the LGBTQ+ communities and our friends and neighbors in South Florida.” We are your local LGBTQ+ community center. Support, social, and educational programs, groups, events and activities focus on holistic health, people living with HIV/AIDS, Active Agers, people of transgender experience, communities of color, recovery, women, families, young adults, the arts, men, athletics, skills-building, and more. We serve as a vital site for HIV testing, prevention, linkage, support, outreach, and education. We host the largest weekly gathering of LGBTQ+ Seniors in the U.S. We spearhead the three-county collaboration to provide an online health directory of culturally competent providers for LBT women at LBTHealth.org. Our five-and-a-half-acre Equality Park campus provides synergy among various LGBTQ-serving organizations. The Residences at Equality Park represents Florida’s first affordable housing community with customized supportive services for LGBTQ+ Seniors. The life-enhancing, innovative programs we provide each day have been used as best practice models for LGBTQ+ centers worldwide–in HIV prevention, Seniors’ programming, women’s health resources, outreach to communities of color, work among people of transgender experience and more.
The Mississippi Center for Justice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to advancing racial and economic justice for the people of Mississippi. Working in campaigns addressing access to healthcare, consumer protection, access to fair and affordable housing, voting rights, heirs’ property, disaster recovery and educational opportunity, the Mississippi Center for Justice employs a community lawyering approach to systemic change. Working with advocacy partners and pro bono law firms, MCJ attacks Mississippi’s culture of injustice through a variety of methods, including litigation, community education and outreach, legislative and administrative advocacy and coalition building.
University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work COMPASS Coordinating Center
Eagle Pass SAFE (Sexuality Advocacy for Everyone) will provide education and resources for sexual health as well as enhancing the self-affirmation, dignity, and equal rights of the LGBTQ community. The goal is to build visibility as a social group, build a stronger community, celebrate diversity and gender variance.
The T.R.U.T.H. Project educates and mobilizes LGBTQ communities of color and their allies through social arts that promote mental, emotional, and sexual health.
The mission of The Houston Regional HIV/AIDS Resource Group is to maximize all possible medical, psychosocial & educational resources to help persons affected by or at risk of HIV/AIDS with a primary focus in Northeast, Deep East & Southeast Texas. TRG performs various tasks including but not limited to community planning, competitive service bidding, contract negotiation, service implementation & monitoring, technical assistance, data collection, quality management,& clinical review.
Faith COMPASS Coordinating Center at Wake Forest University
METRO will utilize funding to build capacity within the organization to better reach, serve, engage with, learn from, and strategize alongside faith-based community members and leaders in order to reduce HIV stigma and increase engagement with available services and resources for those living with and/or affected by HIV among the faith based community.
At RCWMS we believe in the power of gathering together to transform ourselves, our communities, and the world. We believe in the power of the written word to share our truths and inspire each other. Join us for workshops and retreats to nurture your creative and spiritual practices. Engage with us in spiritual activism and protest as spiritual practice. Help us build bridges, amplify voices, and reconnect to what is most important.
Foundations For Living provides Transformation to Students, Parents, and Communities through Inspiration and Education.
Here at Relationship Unleashed, we are driven by our 3E Core Principles of Education, Empowerment, and Enrichment. Our mission is to fight inequality through monthly comprehensive programming . Our Vision is make life better and fulfilling by centering programming that bring awareness to Healthy Relationships, HIV/AIDS, Domestic Violence, Mental Health, and Holistic Therapy. Diversity & Inclusion Consulting is available for organizations that employ LGBTQ individuals and agencies who provide service to members of the LGBTQ community. We strive to build productive relationships, partnerships, and to make a positive impact with all of our pursuits. Relationship Unleashed was established in 2014 by founders Dr. Davin D.Clemons, DMin and Gwendolyn D. Clemons, B.A., M.B.A. to affirm and uplift those that are deemed “the least of these.” Relationship Unleashed is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
Together for Hope is a rural development coalition focusing on the 339 counties of persistent rural poverty in America with The Delta being our largest area and consisting of 97 counties throughout the Lower Mississippi River Delta ( AR, IL, KY, LA, MO, MS, TN). The project will consist of 3 ABCD sessions, 3 focus groups in Mississippi and in the Arkansas Delta where churches, ASOs, CBOs and all who are interested, are welcome to gather and discuss heath ministries within the faith and interfaith communities. Using the current data from the Closer Walk research, the project will expand the scope of work by hosting education sessions on HIV awareness and prevention to faith leaders and leaders of faith-based organizations that focus on health in their congregations and communities. At the end of the project year 15-20 HIV awareness events will be held and hosted by faith leaders and faith-based organizations throughout Mississippi and the Arkansas Delta.
Atlanta, Georgia (November 30, 2018) – In recognition of the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day and in support of
Our first contributors need no introduction. Well-known in their respective fields, Patrick Sullivan, PhD, DVM, Nic Carlisle, JD, and Samira
Column By: Tiffany Smith Tiffany lives in Atlanta, GA and works with the Emory COMPASS Coordinating Center. She previously worked
Column By: Tiffany Smith Tiffany lives in Atlanta, GA and works with the Emory COMPASS Coordinating Center. She previously worked