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COMPASS Initiative® Leading through Education, Advocacy & Resistance with our Neighbors (LEARN):
Trauma Informed Advocacy

Program Description
Leading with Education, Advocacy & Resistance with our Neighbors (LEARN) is one of SUSTAIN Wellbeing COMPASS Coordinating Center’s strategies for supporting organizations with transforming organizational practice. The primary goal of LEARN is to build knowledge, capacity and expertise in a particular topic area. A second important goal of LEARN is to strengthen community networks through enhanced collaboration between participating organizations. Each cohort of LEARN is centered on a different content area. SUSTAIN is excited to announce the launch of LEARN Trauma-Informed Advocacy and Policy developed in collaboration with the Black Futurists Group!

About Trauma Informed Advocacy 
Advocacy is an essential building block for the future because it can serve as a vehicle for people to focus on solving specific problems related to the health, social, economic, political, and/or cultural realities and challenges within their community. Trauma-informed advocacy considers and centers individual, community and historical experiences shaped by trauma within advocacy efforts, and promotes and develops public policy grounded in healing, redemption, and restoration. 

Trauma-informed advocacy develops, plans and implements strategies envisioned by directly impacted communities and achieves more accurate and concrete solutions. Trauma-informed advocacy values the involvement, perspective and brilliance of directly impacted communities at the inception of advocacy efforts to serve as a true reflection and representation of community priorities. Through this lens, trauma-informed advocacy provides an opportunity to achieve real change in the daily lives of communities by putting their lived experiences in the driver’s seat for progressive and transformative advocacy and public policy efforts.

About LEARN Trauma Informed Advocacy 
LEARN Trauma-Informed Advocacy consists of the following over the course of 6 months:

  • One in-person convening
  • Multiple virtual group sessions
  • One-on-one coaching sessions 

Four to six organizations will be selected for each cohort. Organizations should also come prepared to initiate and complete within 6 months at least one new project or activity centered around advocacy and policy that they would like to address in a collaborative, shared learning environment. Organizations can expect to contribute no more than 6-8 hours a month. A $5,000 stipend will be offered to each organization to support their travel to the in-person meeting and project implementation. No prior knowledge around advocacy and policy is required to participate in LEARN. 

After LEARN Trauma-Informed Advocacy participants will be able to:

  • Understand and successfully communicate the concept of trauma informed public policy and advocacy, how personal trauma influences political analysis, and the significance of trauma informed political education ahead of the 2020 elections;
  • To develop public policy and advocacy initiatives grounded and informed by the trauma and lived experiences of communities directly impacted by HIV, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia;
  • To learn about and utilize best practices, tools and strategies that will enhance their ability to successfully navigate government institutions, legislative processes, media sources, and directly impacted communities around trauma informed advocacy and policy priorities; and
  • Mobilize and strengthen the leadership of communities most impacted by HIV to successfully engage in trauma informed policy advocacy and political education efforts in ways that draw clear connections to key trauma informed healthcare priorities and the upcoming 2020 elections.

Organizations interested in participating in LEARN Trauma-Informed Advocacy must have a primary organizational purpose of serving people living with HIV and demonstrate a willingness to integrate trauma informed advocacy, public policy, and political education, into all aspects of their programs. They should also demonstrate a willingness to cultivate integration of directly impacted communities in this work in collaboration with their organization. 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: Trauma Informed Advocacy must:

  • Have a primary organizational purpose of reducing new HIV infections and/or improving the health of people living with HIV by utilizing advocacy;
  • Have an idea for a project centered around advocacy that they would like to work on throughout LEARN;
  • 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;
  • Be located in one of the nine Deep South states (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX);
  • Identify and commit 2-3 people within the organization (1 decision-maker and 1-2 program staff) that agree to participate fully in each scheduled learning session.

Organizations will receive a monetary stipend ($5,000)  that may be used to support costs related to travel and/or implementing
activities related to the self-selected project.

Allowable Expenses
It is appropriate to use LEARN funds to pay for things like materials, meeting expenses, printing, graphic design services, etc. However, there are prohibited expenses. You cannot use the funds to pay for or offset the cost of any of the following:

  • Medications or purchasing of medications
  • Direct medical expenses, including lab expenses
  • Existing deficits of organization
  • Biomedical research or clinical trials
  • Projects that directly influence or advance Gilead Science’s business, including purchase, utilization, prescribing, formulary position, pricing, reimbursement, referral, recommendation or payment for products
  • Individuals, individual health care providers, or physician group practices
  • Events or programs that have already occurred
  • Government lobbying activities

Please Note: Reimbursement for items/services purchased or initiated prior to the submission of this funding request will not be supported. Organizations that do not complete final assessments and/or reports, or utilize funds for the intended purpose will not be eligible to receive any additional funding from the SUSTAIN COMPASS Coordinating Center.

LEARN Logistics
LEARN Trauma-Informed Advocacy consists of sessions over 6 months in 2020 with all participating organizations. Group learning sessions will primarily take place virtually. We value in-person gatherings, so we will host one face-to-face convening in Houston, Texas. Specific details of each component are listed below:

  • Virtual Convening Dates: Group sessions will take place on the following dates from 1-3pm CST. Upon notification of award, calendar invitations will be sent out.
    • February 18
    • March 3, 17, & 31
    • April 14 & 28
    • May 12 & 26
    • June 9 & 23
    • July 7 & 21
  • Coaching Session Dates: Each organization selected to participate will receive individualized coaching from LEARN facilitators over the course of 6 months (one hour long session per month, 6 sessions total). These will be scheduled according to the availability of both the organization and facilitators. 

  • In Person Convening Date and Location: April/May 2020 in Houston, Texas
  • Application Deadline: January 29th, 2020 at 11:59pm EST

Please return to the Home Page to apply for this funding opportunity.