“We are honored to explore the intersection of faith and HIV and create opportunities for people to engage in this critical issue.” — Dr. Eboo Patel
CHICAGO — Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) received a $200,000 grant from the new Gilead COMPASS Initiative Faith Coordinating Center at Wake Forest University School of Divinity, to address the HIV crisis in the South.
With the grant, IFYC will be engaging college campuses, primarily Historically Black Colleges & Universities, through micro-grants aimed at developing curricular and co-curricular programs on the HIV/AIDS crisis. They also aim to distribute grants to civic organizations and faith communities and collaborate with interfaith leaders across the country for community-based convening and provide collaborative learning and training opportunities.
“This work is so integral to our mission at IFYC to build a nation where everyone is included, where everyone has a seat at the table,” said Eboo Patel, founder and CEO of IFYC. “We are honored to explore the intersection of faith and HIV and create opportunities for people to engage in this critical issue.”
IFYC has a significant footprint across the Southern United States, with a network of over 500 campuses across the country, and a robust alumni network that includes young interfaith leaders and professionals who are engaged in their communities as teachers, healthcare professionals, policymakers, academics, and social entrepreneurs running their own organizations. Their reach includes rural areas and cities, public and private universities, secular institutions and faith-based colleges. Through this grant, IFYC aims to leverage their network to bring energy, relationships, and a trained understanding of interfaith leadership to the work around HIV/AIDS crisis.
“I am thrilled to support IFYC’s new partnership with the Gilead Compass Initiative Faith Coordinating Center at Wake Forest School of Divinity,” said Don Abram, program manager at IFYC. “As we know, HIV/AIDs disproportionately impact communities of color, particularly Black communities. By empowering our partners in institutions of higher learning and community organizations with interfaith leadership skills, our hope is that we will be able to combat the rise of HIV/AIDs in the Southern U.S. and the stigma too often associated with it.”
HIV/AIDS outreach is part of a broader set of Faith and Public Health work that IFYC has launched over the past year in response to the Covid-19 crisis. IFYC is currently partnering with over 150 campuses, community groups and alums, offering micro grants to members of faith communities to help with conversations about vaccination, helping with access and organizing vaccination clinics.
IFYC is one of 17 organizations that received grants from the center for the one-year grant cycle beginning in July, and most of the recipients are institutions led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
Paul Brandeis Raushenbush
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.