Southern AIDS Coalition ANNOUNCES 2023 SPARK! GRANTS RECIPIENTS
Grants Made Part of Phase Two of Gilead COMPASS Initiative®
Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) has awarded 2023 SPARK! Grants to twelve organizations from across 6 southern states. SPARK! (Southerners Promoting Awareness, Resources & Knowledge) Grants will provide up to $25,000 to support community-led campaigns and education initiatives that address HIV-related stigma across the Deep South. Organizations are funded to create programming under one of two tracks—SPARK! Connections and SPARK! Change. Through SPARK! Connections, organizations will combat social isolation and loneliness through virtual programming. Through SPARK! Change, organizations will create community-level education campaigns and programs addressing HIV-related stigma. The grants were made as part of the Gilead COMPASS Initiative®, an investment by Gilead Sciences to support community-based organizations working to address the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States.
2022–2023 SPARK! Grantees:
Campbell Health Solutions
Campbell Health solutions is a 501(c)(3) for impact organization that was establish to increase the accessibility of awareness education, prevention and health Services. Innovating healthcare through one-on-one/family engagements and making health service resources more attainable.
CHS was created for impact with the mission to promote health and educational services that support the well-being of those most vulnerable to HIV, STDs and other determinants of health.
Cherokee County Health Services Council
CCHSC is an established organization in Cherokee County that has built strong collaborative relationships over the past 20 years. CCHSC has a history of organizational experience with local and state-level stakeholders and accompanying resources.
CCHSC consults with experienced grant writers and evaluators that have proven successful in providing funding to support the mission. CCHSC staff are qualified and experienced individuals who serve as community advocates for public health. Staff members obtain competencies to advance the mission and objectives of CCHSC through knowledge of community networks and systems.
Eagle Pass SAFE
Eagle Pass SAFE was designed to build visibility as a social group, build a stronger community, and to celebrate diversity and gender variance.
Game Changing Men
Game Changing Men works to erase stigmas and barriers for the progression of black (transmasculine) men in society, by addressing toxic masculinities and promoting health to end violence and ensure the safety and wellness for communities of color. Through story sharing, practicing collective care, group activities for bonding, and providing tools and resources to strengthen marginalized communities.
Heather Ivy Society
The Heather Ivy Society was introduced in 2012 as a support group, information resource and activism network for women whose lives are influenced by HIV. The society’s mission is to provide a secure forum and support network whereby women may obtain peer and professional guidance on HIV-related women’s health issues, without stigma, judgment or harassment.
Their purpose is to provide an elegant and nurturing ambiance for HIV-impacted women, who often feel embarrassed or envision themselves as damaged, lonely and undeserving. The society aspires, instead, to encourage each woman’s self-acceptance as dignified, integrated and worthy and to provide its members with practical knowledge and skills that inform a truly positive life.
Orixa Healing, Arts, Wellness and Spiritual Centre
Orixa Healing Arts Wellness and Spiritual Centre is a healing and wellness practice that provides education and creative Interdisciplinary tools to businesses, nonprofit organizations, faith institutions, and individuals.
Orixa creates safe and healthy spaces that promote healing through the expressive arts. Our proven techniques increase wellness indicators for persons experiencing various forms of chronic illness, traumatic experiences, stress management issues, and burnout. As a form of alternative medicine, healing is encouraged through the use of the expressive arts and movement.
At Orixa, healing is accessible to all.
Out My Closet
Founded in 2013 by LGBTQ activist, Michael A. Narain, Out My Closet empowers displaced & under resourced LGBTQ youth with clothing, care and compassion and creates affirming multimedia messages of hope, inclusiveness & support. OMC services displaced youth who are in vulnerable and crucial states. OMC addresses immediate needs such as clothing and offers referrals to agencies where shelter and food are provided. OMC conducts its services in mannerisms that uplifts, motivates and reinforce displaced youth. We reinforce validation and acceptance of sexual identity and gender expression. We also work with other agencies and organizations to offer consciousness on the needs of the LGBTQ community.
Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV & AIDS
PASWHA is the lead organization that supports the professional growth and development of HIV social workers and allied professionals, promotes evidence informed practice, and advances equitable and just policies to end the HIV & AIDS epidemic.
As leaders in the field of HIV Social Work, PASWHA strives to end the HIV & AIDS epidemic by promoting social justice and equity through all forms of social work practice.
This Is Your Moment Network
TIYM Network is a collaborative Network by HeIsValuable, Inc. a non-profit organization, Soul Model LLC a talent management and storytelling business, and DarkRoom Media LLC a multimedia production and graphic design business. TIYM Network educates, empowers, and entertains the HIV community by producing community-lead content for waiting rooms in HIV clinics and organizations.
Twin Health and Wellness Center
Twin Health and Wellness Center is a safe place for total health and wellness. We provide basic care; sexual health and wellness; and treatment and preventative services in an inclusive and diverse setting. We accept uninsured and underinsured patients at all income levels. We have low-cost options, self-pay discounts and Rx assistance for qualified prescriptions.
Waterloo Counseling Center
Waterloo Counseling Center was founded by Paul Clover in 1983 to provide mental health services to those dying from AIDS. Over the years, the programs offered have varied, grown and adjusted to meet the needs of the community.
In 2020, Waterloo became a program of Texas Health Action and looks forward to continuing to provide high quality, specialized mental health counseling in Austin to the LGBTQIA+ community; people living with HIV/AIDS and their loved ones; and people experiencing trauma, depression or anxiety.
Whatsinthemirror? is a 501c3 non-profit organization and social movement that provides suicide prevention and mental health awareness through art and advocacy to people of color and low socio-economic communities. They focus on marginalized communities that includes women, LGBTQIA+, and youth.
The organization was created in Austin, Texas by Founder and Executive Director Tarik Daniels in October, 2015. “I saw a need to merge my two passions together with my background in non-profit organization and being a performing artist and writer. I truly believe that mental health is a topic and idea that has this stigma that needs to be removed. We need to enlightened our communities about the alarming numbers of suicide rates and educate on mental health and suicide prevention. It’s time to begin the conversation and do the work. Spreading love and kindness is key. We are the prevention”.