The three Coordinating Centers will provide individual consultations, and group trainings to facilitate individual or organizational change among organizations in the South. These trainings and consultations will focus on addressing the COMPASS Initiative® focus areas including capacity building, stigma reduction, trauma informed care and wellbeing among people living with HIV.

The COMPASS Initiative® seeks to create long-term, sustainable change in leaders, organizations, and communities by supporting capacity building strategies that will strengthen the infrastructure and support the viability of organizations that serve those living with HIV/AIDS. Our unique community-centered trainings explore how systematic oppressions, stigma, and racial, ethnic, and gender inequities impact the South.

To request one or more trainings on behalf of your organization, please submit an online training request detailing the information, resources, or training topic(s) from which your organization may benefit. The appropriate Coordinating Center will respond to your training request within 72 business hours from the time of submission.

Eligibility: Community based organizations with a 501(c)3 status, non-profit organizations without a 501(c)3 status, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), and other not for profit organizations with a medical care component, all of which must be residing in any of the nine (9) Deep South states (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX) are eligible to apply for trainings (please note that local government agencies are also able to apply to Wellbeing & Mental Health or Stigma Reduction & Culturally Responsive Care trainings only).

The COMPASS Coordinating Centers offer education, training and capacity building programs in the following areas:

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

Don't see what you're looking for? Then contact us with a description of the requested training and we will assess whether or not we can meet that need, or refer you to another organization outside of the COMPASS Initiative® that can assist with that specific request.

Governance and Leadership*

Governance refers to board-level oversight and decision-making related to strategic direction, financial planning, and bylaws. This includes policies that outline the organization's purpose, values, and structure. Trainings in this category will help organizations strengthen their systems of governance and leadership.

Mission, Vision, and Strategy*

Trainings in this category will help organizations set priorities, focus staff energy and resources toward those priorities, and strengthen operations. These trainings will also help organizations ensure alignment between employee and stakeholder efforts, establish or adjust common goals and agreements, and develop plans to achieve intended outcomes.

Finance and Administration

Fiscal accountability is the key to maintaining a healthy non-profit organization. Trainings in this category will help organizations set financial goals, establish management systems, ensure policies and operational procedures are set in place and up-to-date, and ensure staff are trained and able to make prudent financial decisions.

Resource Development

Organizations that rely on only one or two funding sources run the risk of losing funding in times of political, community and financial uncertainty and/or change. Diversification of resources prepares organizations to incorporate multiple streams of income or multiple suppliers within a funding category to help stabilize financial resources. Focus areas include grant management, grant writing, donor management, and stakeholder engagement. Areas of special interest include 340B and insurance reimbursements.

Strategic Relationships and Coalition Building

Developing partnerships and coalitions among organizations with similar goals is a key strategy used to enhance the reach of community efforts. Trainings will focus on leveraging the skills, strengths, and resources of each partner to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the combined effort by minimizing duplication and redundancy. Areas of focus include public relations, coalition building, and partnership development.


A solid communications strategy helps to engage stakeholders in the work of an organization, inspires them to donate to the cause and keeps them invested. Both internal and external stakeholders benefit when the intended message for the organization is clear and to the point - allowing everyone to accurately represent the agency's focus and share its successes.

Internal Management and Operations
  • Documented, learned, and enforced internal management policies and procedures in an organization provides an environment in which managers and staff can maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. They are also a mechanism to monitor the achievement of operational goals and objectives. Focus areas for these trainings include human resource management, IT and facility management and planning, and volunteer and staff development and management.
Service Delivery and Impact

Trainings that support organizations’ development, implementation and analysis of service delivery systems. Focus areas include program evaluation, quality assurance, assessment, and innovation.

*Also available in Spanish.

Thank you for your interest with the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work COMPASS Coordinating Center. Applications for wellbeing & mental health trainings submitted after September 1, 2019 will be reviewed beginning October 7, 2019. During this time you may continue to submit applications, but we will not be available to respond to any correspondences in reference to your application until October 7, 2019. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

SUSTAIN’s model of capacity building assistance (CBA) is a collective set of adaptable strategies implemented in partnership with organizations aiming to empower, strengthen and improve service delivery. We aim to foster a unified commitment to continuous learning among our partners which better cultivates organizational responsiveness to community needs. All of our trainings can be tailored to specific communities, including Black cisgender women, Black same gender loving men, transgender women and the Latinx community, as well as others.

Don't see what you're looking for? Then contact us with a description of the requested training and we will assess whether or not we can meet that need, or refer you to another organization outside of the COMPASS Initiative® that can assist with that specific request.

Standard Option

Best if you are seeking to implement and sustain evidence-based and culturally sensitive mental health, trauma-informed care, substance use (particularly harm reduction) and wellness HIV services at your organization. These trainings aim to increase knowledge, skills and abilities of organizational staff and community members.

Examples include: Harm Reduction Overview, Understanding Mental Health & HIV, Mental Health Literacy 101, Trauma-Informed Approaches for HIV Service Organizations, Legislative Advocacy Training, Integrating Healing Justice, and Trans & Queer Youth.

Specified Option

Best if seeking a specialized expertise of a particular topic, intervention, strategy, intersection and/or community. These trainings also aim to increase knowledge, skills and abilities of organizational staff and community members but are specifically designed to be tailored to your organizational needs.

Example topic areas include: Vicarious Trauma, LGBTQ Political Power, Advocacy, and a Specific Community.

These trainings emphasize the need for HIV awareness, stigma reduction, and culturally responsive care in our effort to address the epidemic in the Southern United States.

Don't see what you're looking for? Then contact us with a description of the requested training and we will assess whether or not we can meet that need, or refer you to another organization outside of the COMPASS Initiative® that can assist with that specific request.

Undoing Racism

An intensive workshop that utilizes dialogue, reflection, role-playing, strategic planning, and presentations to analyze the structures of power and privilege and advance institutional change for racial equity. The workshop stresses learning from history, developing leadership, maintaining accountability to communities of color, creating networks, undoing internalized oppression, and understanding the role of organizational gatekeeping in perpetuating racism.

Stigma and HIV

The FRESH (Finding Respect and Ending Stigma around HIV) Workshop aims to define stigma as well as facilitate discussion around understanding the diverse forms of stigma and how it presents in organizational settings. Additionally, the workshop seeks to examine the drivers of stigma, generate a personalized understanding of stigma, and to assist in the understanding of the adverse effects of stigma at the personal, interpersonal, and institutional levels.

Cultural Competence & Humility

Identity, Dynamics and Strategies”: This training will develop participant skills to deliver client-centered services with cultural competence and humility in order to support access to and continuous engagement in HIV prevention and care services.

Workforce Development

Addressing Employment Needs and Maximizing Opportunities for People Living with or at Greater Vulnerability to HIV: Training and capacity building assistance offered to strengthen responses in HIV care and prevention services to the employment needs of people living with or at greater vulnerability to HIV.