"Gilead COMPASS Faith Coordinating Center" Archive

Shonda Jones to lead academic programs at the School of Professional Studies

After 10 years with the School of Divinity, Dr. Shonda Jones has accepted a new role as executive director of academic programs at the School of Professional Studies. Dr. Jones will develop and oversee a compelling portfolio of flexible, affordable and relevant academic programs for the new school. Her work will produce a collection of high-demand degree and non-degree offerings to meet the evolving needs of working professionals in the Charlotte community and beyond. Headshot of Shonda Jones, executive director of academic programs at the WFU School of Professional Studies

“This is an exciting time for the University and a pivotal time in higher education. We must be able to respond not only to the current marketplace but anticipate what innovations and untapped opportunities exist before us,” Jones said.

“Dr. Jones’s strategic leadership and innate ability to decipher what students, as well as her colleagues, need to foster strong relational ties and successful academic experiences will greatly benefit the School of Professional Studies,” said Jonathan Lee Walton, dean of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. Read more

Gilead COMPASS Initiative Faith Coordinating Center awards grants to organizations addressing HIV crisis

The new Gilead COMPASS Initiative Faith Coordinating Center at Wake Forest University School of Divinity has awarded grants to 17 organizations working to address the HIV crisis in the American South. Recipients are rooted in over ten states, and the majority are led by Black, Indigenous, people of color.

“We are excited about working with this strong group of diverse, well-respected organizations across the South,” said Allison Matthews, executive director of the Gilead COMPASS Faith Coordinating Center. “We believe each of them are well-suited to advance our mission of troubling the narratives about the intersection of HIV and faith. We aim to shift the culture to be more inclusive and loving of all people, regardless of their race/ethnicity, gender or sexuality.”

The grants total $1 million and will help organizations advance efforts which include HIV-public health capacity building and faith-leader training, development of curricular and co-curricular programs on the HIV/AIDS crisis in the South, community asset mapping, and strategic partnerships to advance anti-stigma work.

Visit the Wake Forest University School of Divinity website to learn more about the grant program and view this year’s recipients.

Categories: Inside WFU

$5 million grant brings Gilead COMPASS Faith Coordinating Center to WFU School of Divinity to combat HIV/AIDS in the South

With a $5 million grant from Gilead Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Divinity will establish a new center to fight HIV/AIDS throughout the South.

The COMPASS Initiative® Faith Coordinating Center will focus 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.

Wake Forest University School of Divinity is uniquely positioned to unite and strengthen faith communities to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. A focus on social justice and equity will guide the mission and vision of the center.

“At Wake Forest University School of Divinity, we shape agents of justice, reconciliation and compassion,” said Jonathan Lee Walton, dean of the School. “Our origins are rooted in preparing a place for those often marginalized and left out of not only conversations, but congregations. This new center will help us put that mission into needed action in communities across our region.”

The Faith Coordination 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.

“Expanding the Gilead COMPASS Initiative to include faith-based communities will help advance our collective efforts to end the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States,” said Brett Pletcher, executive vice president, corporate affairs and general counsel. “We are convinced that the leaders at Wake Forest School of Divinity have the academic rigor, implementation expertise and passion required to advance this important work.”

The center will use a social justice framework, interfaith engagement and advocacy for LGBTQ communities as tools to equip faith communities to respond to the needs of those impacted by HIV/AIDS. The center intends to cultivate change in and through faith communities with strategic implementation of collaborative learning, grant-making and training. One planned program is a cohort-based educational path for clergy and faith leaders that intends to build collaborative knowledge, capacity and expertise related to faith and HIV/AIDS.

WFU School of Divinity was selected through a national, competitive grant application process. Read more