Collaborative Learning

Connecting, Building, and Learning Together

Collaborative Learning Opportunities allow organizations to come together and learn how to build their organization’s infrastructure, implement best practices, and connect with subject matter experts with colleagues doing similar work. Three different collaborative learning opportunities are offered through the Gilead COMPASS Initiative® : Pilot Partners, The PoWER Institute, LEARN, & Learning It Together (LIT). Pilot Partners is led by Southern AIDS Coalition and provides an opportunity for six (6) organizations annually to cofacilitate these interventions in their community. The PoWER Institute is led by Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and consists of multi-session cohorts of agencies receiving intensive capacity building and organizational development assistance from expert staff and coaches in various areas of organizational development. LEARN is an intensive strategy for supporting organizations with transforming organizational practice over the course of a six (6) month period, led by the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Learning It Together is led by Wake Forest University School of Divinity. LIT is a cohort-based educational program for faith-based and organizational leaders.


Pilot Partners

There is a pronounced need to design, implement, and evaluate interventions to reduce HIV-related stigma for people living with HIV (PLHIV).

Applications are currently closed for Pilot Partners. Subscribe to our newsletter to find out when applications open.

There is a pronounced need to design, implement, and evaluate interventions to reduce HIV-related stigma for people living with HIV (PLHIV). This need is greatest in the Deep South, a subset of nine (9) states that is a significant driver of the HIV epidemic in the United States. PLHIV in the Deep South experiences considerable HIV-related stigma. This stigma, particularly when internalized, is associated with negative health outcomes, including poorer medication adherence and missed medical appointments. Consequently, fewer Southerners living with HIV receive timely medical care and treatment, fewer have their virus suppressed, and a disproportionate number are missing out on the opportunity to preserve their health and avoid transmitting the virus to their partners. Mortality in the South remains alarmingly high as a result, with death rates in some southern states reaching nearly three times higher than the national average.

The Southern AIDS Coalition is seeking to partner with four (4) community-based organizations to implement and evaluate the following HIV related stigma reduction interventions:


  1. LEAD (Leadership, Education, and Advocacy Development) Academy: A health promotion intervention with the TOT model (spanning 2 nights and 2.5 days) designed to combat HIV-related stigma by training PLHIV to be leaders, educators, and advocates in their communities. The curriculum was created by and for people living with HIV in the South, and all content is delivered in-person and on-site by PLHIV in conjunction with subject matter experts and local partners. Upon completion of the LEAD Academy, participants graduate as “Southern LEADers” with advanced knowledge of HIV, real-world experience with advocacy, and the skills to serve as leaders and trusted sources of information within their communities. LEAD Academy is most appropriate for PLHIV who already understand the basic facts of HIV transmission and advocacy and who are ready to serve as leaders within their communities.


  1. Younity Workshop: A two-session group-level intervention that teaches PLHIV techniques and skills to reduce internalized HIV-related stigma. The intervention is based on the HIV Stigma Toolkit developed by the International Center for Research on Women, and the materials were originally adapted for use among women in the United States by researchers at the University of Washington. We have further adapted the intervention for use among men in the U.S. South. Younity Workshop is most appropriate for PLHIV who are newly diagnosed or who are struggling to accept their HIV diagnosis.



Criteria Description
Non-Profit Status Applicants must be non-profit, tax-exempt organizations as set forth in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Applicants that do not hold 501(c)(3) status must have a fiscal sponsor to apply.
Geographic Location Applicants must be located in and doing work in one of nine (9) Deep South states Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Texas.
 Implementation Period Your campaign should be able to be implemented within six (6) months of approval.
Evaluation Applicants must agree to work with our evaluation partners, if funded, to help measure the impact of the funding support provided. All organizations will also be required to complete a brief organizational survey before funds can be dispersed.

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The PoWER Institute

The PoWER (Partners Working for Enhanced Results) Institute is the Emory COMPASS Coordinating Center’s most intensive strategy for assisting organizations with transforming organizational practice, improving systems and operations, and ensuring data driven service outcomes.

2022 Applications Closed 

PoWER Leadership is a three (3) day leadership retreat designed to strengthen the individual leader’s knowledge, skill sets, and ability to engage their team, organization, and the communities they serve. The goal of PoWER Leadership is to increase participants chance for organizational success by:

● Broadening their understanding of their role as a leader

● Developing key skills and best practices for achieving high quality results

● Deepening the leader’s relationship with their personal and organizational why

The participants will spend three (3) days in Savannah, Georgia, under the direction of their coaches; developing and maximizing both their hard and soft skills; modeling examples of teambuilding; and celebrating growth.

The Institute is a synchronized learning opportunity that includes rigorous assessment, cooperative learning, and individual coaching. Participants will work closely with the institute coaches to examine their strengths and weaknesses, and to develop a plan for their future success.

Who Should Apply?
Any leader from an emerging or established organization with room for growth and development, seeking to strengthen their individual capacity to successfully lead their team and enhance their organizational impact.  The leader’s organizations of origin must have a 501(c)(3) status, or have a fiscal sponsor.

PoWER Leadership is intended for leaders who provide direct oversight to multiple staff members (a minimum of two (2) staffers), programs, and/or projects. Space is limited, only 10 leaders will be selected to participate in this opportunity.

All expenses for the PoWER Leadership Institute will be covered by the Emory COMPASS Coordinating Center. This includes lodging, meals, local travel, parking, airfare, onsite coaching and follow-up one-on-one executive coaching.

 **Participation in the PoWER Leadership does not guarantee successful award of additional COMPASS Initiative® funding, nor other grant opportunities.

PoWER Boards Timeline:
Application Due                                      Aug 28, 2022
Notification of Acceptance                   Sept 02, 2022
In-Person Convening                          Sept 18-21,2022

Organizations eligible to participate in the PoWER Institutes must:

Criteria Description
HIV Focused Be an AIDS Service Organization; a CBO that prioritizes HIV/AIDS prevention or care services, or is a CBO with a substantial budgetary investment in HIV related programming.
Geographic Location Eligible organizations must reside in and do work in the following Southern states (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN or TX).
Non-Profit Status Be a non-profit, tax-exempt organization as set forth in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Applicants that do not hold 501(c)(3) status must have a fiscal sponsor to apply.
Experience Be an organization with at least one (1) year of  providing services, and least six (6) months demonstrated experience in providing HIV/AIDS specific services.
Participation Fully participate including attending in person dates: September 18, 2022 – September 22, 2022.

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These trainings focus on building organizational capacity and increasing shared knowledge among HIV/AIDS-serving community-based organizations.

2022 Applications Opening Soon. 

About LEARN TILS (Trauma-Informed Leadership & Supervision)
To end the HIV epidemic, we must consider the negative impact of organizational environments on both staff and clients, and create strategies and interventions to build equitable and trauma-informed environments. Informed by the six principles of trauma-informed care, trauma-informed leadership and supervision is a justice-oriented strategy for leadership and supervisors to create healthy professional relationships with their staff members. In order for trauma-informed leadership and supervision to advance equity and staff wellbeing, it must be meaningfully incorporated into organizational policies and procedures, realistically operationalized, and integrated into daily practices. More importantly, trauma-informed leadership and supervision should be intentionally modeled by organizational leadership as a way to support and sustain change. A specific goal of LEARN TILS is to educate and equip HIV service leadership and those in supervisory roles with the knowledge and skills needed to implement and foster trauma-informed environments for staff.

Organizations interested in participating in LEARN TILS must have a primary organizational purpose of serving people living with HIV. Organizations that demonstrate a commitment to cultivating leadership of Trans, Women, Latinx, Black, Immigrant and Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual communities will be prioritized, along with those who serve rural communities and communities most impacted by the HIV epidemic (see Ending the HIV Epidemic jurisdictions). Organizations of all sizes are encouraged to apply, but for those that have more than 30-40 staff members, we ask that you specify your application to a particular department of your organization.

Additionally, organizations eligible to participate in LEARN TILS must:

Criteria Description
Meaningful Involvement of People with Lived Experienced Aim to increase engagement of people who receive services (i.e., people who use drugs, people living with HIV, etc.) in a more meaningful way.
HIV Focused Applicants must have a primary organizational purpose of reducing new HIV infections and/or improving the health of people living with HIV.
Geographic Location Applicants must be located in and doing work in one of 12 Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, or Texas.
Non-Profit Status Applications must be non-profit, tax-exempt organizations as set forth in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Applicants that do not hold 501(c)(3) status must have a fiscal sponsor to apply.
Participation Identify and commit 2 people within the organization that agree to participate fully.
Evaluation Applicants must agree to work with our evaluation partner, if funded, to help measure the impact of the program.


How To Apply

Applications will be available online. Interested organizations should submit a completed application online to be eligible for participation.

View PDF version of the application here

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Learning It Together Artists Cohort

Learning It Together is a key feature of the Faith COMPASS Coordinating Center at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. This cohort-based educational program will create collaborative knowledge, increase capacity, and foster partnerships among participating faith and/or nonprofit leaders.

2022 Applications Closed.           

The Learning It Together Artists Cohort will provide funding of up to $25,000 for non-profit organizations and $40,000 for an Artist-In-Residence to support the creation and amplification of arts-based projects centered around faith to help reduce stigma and aid in changing the perception of HIV/AIDS in the south. The Faith Coordinating Center will provide potential opportunities for amplification in collaboration with GLAAD and other local, statewide and national media outlets.

We are seeking to fund creative projects that facilitate the creation of inclusive and healing faith spaces (virtual and/or in-person) for LGBTQ persons and people living with and affected by HIV.

Example of funded activities in this focus area might include but are not limited to:

  • Creation of new works of art in the artist’s preferred media (e.g., graphic design, painting, music production, spoken word, screen or play writing, etc.), with a focus on creating works that address HIV-related stigma; reflect the lived experiences of people affected by HIV/AIDS; address faith-based trauma and its intersection with HIV; reflect themes of healing, spirituality, interfaith perspectives, etc.
  • Formalizing an existing program that has been well-received in your faith community (e.g., youth writing or performing program, production of a play or other performance, etc.);
  • Adapting an existing evidence-based intervention to include content that addresses faith at the intersection of HIV- related stigma (e.g., photovoice);
  • Trainings for faith leaders and lay audiences in faith communities to build their capacity to develop content and/or facilitate arts-based interventions
  • Establishing partnerships across interfaith, medical, and/or academic sectors with the arts

LIT Cohort Members will be expected to:

  • Produce work connected to themes about HIV and faith
  • Present their work and/or provide portfolio of completed work

Artist-in-Residence will be expected to:

  • Artist in residence will be at WFU for 30 days and will be expected to deliver at least one guest lecture and and one online workshop with LIT cohort members
  • Wake Forest University will provide 30 days of housing, travel, meals, office space, and access to a “maker space” or creative production space. Please include estimated expenses in budget and budget justification


Currently, faith focused leaders and/or nonprofit organizational leaders operating in any of the twelve (12) Southern states (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX) are eligible to apply to participate in the Learning It Together program. Current grant recipients are NOT eligible to apply for the LIT Cohort.

Criteria Description
Faith Focused Be an Faith-based Organization; a CBO that prioritizes faith and/or HIV/AIDS prevention or care services, or education.
Geographic Location Applicants must be located in and doing work in one of the following Southern states: AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN or TX
Non-Profit Status Applications must be non-profit, tax-exempt organizations as set forth in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Applicants that do not hold 501(c)(3) status must have a fiscal sponsor to apply.

Individuals are not eligible for grant awards. If you are an individual who would like to apply for this opportunity, you must have a fiscal sponsorship secured to create a profile and complete the application. Your fiscal sponsor will receive the funds and disperse them to you. 

Interested in learning more about our 2022 grant opportunities?

Join us for one of our information sessions: Monday, April 4th at 5:30PM or Wednesday, April 6th at 3:30PM. Register Here.

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