Coordinating centers of Gilead COMPASS Initiative® announce 2019 grant recipients

November 30, 2018

The three Coordinating Centers of the Gilead COMPASS Initiative®—the Rollins School of Public Health, Southern AIDS Coalition, and University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work—have announced the 32 recipients of their 2019 Transformative Grant. These one-year grants provided by the COMPASS Coordinating Centers focus specifically on the Southern United States and address disparities within the HIV epidemic by increasing organizational capacity; reducing stigma; and promoting well-being, mental health and trauma-informed care. 

The Emory COMPASS Coordinating Center, which is part of PRISM Health and the Department of Epidemiology, funded 12 partners from eight Deep South states with proposals related to infrastructure development, service expansion and coalition building.

Recipients were selected from a competitive group of applicants from across all nine Deep South states and reviewed by an external panel comprised of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and Southern organizations, totaling a combined 355 years of HIV-related prevention and care experience.

“The quality and diversity of proposals we received speaks to the tremendous and fundamental work being led in the South,” says Dafina Ward, JD, the senior manager of grant operations and strategy at the Southern AIDS Coalition. “Elevating Southern nonprofit organizations who are addressing stigma and intersecting issues in their provision of HIV-related services is a key objective of our Transformative Grant funding. We look forward to not only working with, and learning from, our 2019 partners, but additional partners in years to come, with the unified goal of making positive strides toward ending the HIV epidemic in the South.”   

The 2019 Transformative Grant partners include myriad passionate and diverse organizations serving the nine Deep South states, with innovative proposals focused on reducing disparities through service expansion, stigma reduction campaigns, leadership and coalition development, community-based interventions and much more.

“We are excited to learn from and support each of our new partners,” said Neena Smith-Bankhead, MS, director of Capacity Building and Community Engagement at the Emory COMPASS Coordinating Center. “We look forward to developing a collaborative learning community of organizations committed to ensuring that Southern communities are providing high-quality services to those most impacted by HIV.”  

On World AIDS Day, the COMPASS Initiative® is proud of the selected partners’ collective commitment to having a positive impact on known challenges in addressing the Southern HIV epidemic, particularly in underserved and rural communities where prevention efforts and services are limited.

“Our Transformative Grantees will change the landscape of the South by providing community-centered and justice-focused programs,” says Samira Ali, PhD, LMSW, assistant professor and center director at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. “The selected partners are rich in experience and passion and have expertise across the COMPASS Initiative’s programmatic focus areas. They are ambitious, thoughtful and most importantly want to transform the South!”