Faith Coordinating Center awards $1,000,000 to address HIV in the South

Now in its second year, the Gilead COMPASS Initiative Faith Coordinating Center at Wake Forest University School of Divinity recently awarded 14 organizations and 4 artists with grant funding to address HIV stigma in faith communities across the South. The grant recipients are based in 8 different states with projects that will reach faith communities across the southern region.

The grant awards range from $25,000 to $150,000 for a one-year grant cycle beginning in July of 2022. Organizations were awarded in one of three different grant areas: Faith Capacity Building, Faith Action, and Transformative. All grantees will participate in virtual training on topics related to faith and HIV as they work concurrently toward their project goals.

This year’s Faith Capacity Building grant has been awarded to Interfaith America in Illinois; Selma AIR in Alabama; Inspiration and Change Inc. in Florida; and Vision Community Foundation in Georgia. Interfaith America, who will be engaging faith and HIV through HBCU campuses, and Vision Community Foundation who will continue to expand in their work of cultivating inclusive faith spaces for people living with HIV.

Five organizations received a Transformative grant of up to $100,000 from the center for 18 months. Recipients of the grant for this year include Metropolitan Charities in Tampa, Florida; the Resource Center for Women & Ministry in the South in North Carolina; Together for Hope in Mississippi; Foundations for Living in Georgia; and Relationship Unleashed in Tennessee. The Transformative grant focuses on collaboration with Christian and interfaith partners in order to impact how these communities respond to HIV/AIDS in the future.

Other organizations received a Faith Action of up to $25,000. These grants fund projects centered around faith to help reduce stigma, engage in spiritually integrated trauma-informed care, and aid in changing the perception of HIV/AIDs in the south. This year’s recipients include Texas Health Action in Texas, Health Awareness for Life Foundation in Florida, Southern Regional Area Health Education Center in North Carolina, Compassionate Atlanta in Georgia, and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship’s Black Campus Ministries in Tennessee.

In addition to its organizational grant awards, the Faith Coordinating Center also awarded fiscally-sponsored artists with $25,000 to 40,000 in grant funding and membership in a first of its kind, Learning It Together Artist Cohort. This cohort will be trained in faith and HIV as it relates to the creation of varying art projects. The cohort will be led by coaches Dasan Ahanu, a well-established North Carolinian artist, poet, and creative curator; and Rev. Demi ‘Day’ McCoy, who serves as the Creative Program Manager at the Faith Coordinating Center while also championing the arts through web design and music recording. The artist grant recipients include Lauryn Whitney of Authentic Voices Global in Texas, Ashon Crawley in Virginia and Louisiana, and Tarik Daniels of WhatsintheMirror? in Texas. The cohort also features Emilio AponteSierraParetti of Florida, who will serve as the Faith Coordinating Center’s Artist-In-Residence for 30 days at Wake Forest University.

Gilead COMPASS Initiative Faith Coordinating Center at Wake Forest University School of Divinity 2021 Grant Award Recipients

Faith Capacity Building Grant Awardees

  • Inspiration and Change Inc.
  • Interfaith America
  • Selma AIR
  • Vision Community Foundation

Transformative Grant Awardees

  • Foundations for Living
  • Metropolitan Charities, Tampa
  • Relationship Unleashed
  • Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South
  • Together for Hope

Faith Action Grant Awardees

  • Compassionate Atlanta
  • Health Awareness Foundation for Life
  • InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
  • Southern Regional Area Health Education Center
  • Texas Health Action

Learning It Together Artist Grant Awardees

  • Emilio AponteSierraParetti
  • Ashon Crawley
  • Tarik Daniels of WhatsintheMirror?
  • Lauryn Whitney of Authentic Voices Global

About Gilead COMPASS Initiative Faith Coordinating Center

The COMPASS Initiative® Faith Coordinating Center focuses on preparing ministry and nonprofit leaders to address the needs of vulnerable populations such as rural communities in Appalachia, African Americans and LGBTQ individuals. These groups, particularly in the South, often experience a higher number of cases of HIV/AIDS with access to fewer support and prevention resources. The Faith Coordinating Center is part of Gilead’s 10-year, $100 million COMPASS Initiative®. In its fourth year, the initiative includes coordinating centers at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and the Southern AIDS Coalition.

About Wake Forest University School of Divinity

The Wake Forest University School of Divinity is a dynamic and ecumenical theological institution that prepares men and women to be religious leaders in a changing world. The School currently offers the Master of Divinity degree and several joint degrees in law, bioethics, counseling, education, and sustainability, and a dual degree pathway in management, offered in partnership with other schools of the University. Through imaginative courses and diverse programs of community engagement, students are equipped to be agents of justice, reconciliation, and compassion in Christian churches and other ministries.


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