Abstract: More Than a Warm Hand-Off: Capacity Building with Organizations during Times of Compounding Crises (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

493P More Than a Warm Hand-Off: Capacity Building with Organizations during Times of Compounding Crises

Saturday, January 14, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Maria Wilson, EdD, LMSW, LVN, Assistant Professor, University of Houston Clear Lake, Houston, TX
Bec Sokha Keo, PhD, MSW, Public Impact Scholar, University of Houston, Houston, TX
Megan Stanton, PhD, MSW, Assistant Professor, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT
Samira Ali, PhD, MSW, Associate Professor, University of Houston, Houston, TX
Abstract: Background and Purpose: Latinx and transgender, and gender non-conforming (TGNC) communities are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. In the Southern US, the burden of HIV is further exacerbated by interpersonal and systemic racism, xenophobia, and transphobia. Additionally, the COVID19 pandemic, regional natural disasters, and acceleration of white supremacy situate these organizations in socio-political-environmental circumstances that further limit access to funding, resources, and capacity to serve these communities adequately. Despite these limitations, small grassroots organizations led by or primarily serving Latinx and TGNC communities lead efforts to respond to community needs. These small grassroots organizations implemented their programs and met community needs amidst systemic and environmental barriers. The aims of this paper are to 1) reflect on qualitative findings from evaluative data on facilitators and barriers, of Latinx and TGNC led programs in the South; 2) compare and contrast facilitators, barriers, and impact of funded Latinx and TGNC led programs; and 3) understand opportunities for community connectedness among Latinx and TGNC communities.

Methods: A comparative analysis was completed between 3 cohorts of funded community partners between 2019-2020 in a Capacity Building Wellness Center based in a social work graduate program at a large public university. Qualitative data were drawn from field notes taken during programmatic calls and qualitative interviews. Thematic analyses were employed to compare and contrast facilitators, barriers, and impact of Latinx and TGNC funded programs.

Results: Organizations included 11 Latinx-led or serving groups and 13 TGNC-led or serving groups across 8 southern states (AL, FL, GA, LA, NC, SC, TN, TX). Most (81%) organizations were Latinx or Black-led, and staff size varied from 0 to 120. Shared barriers to program implementation included COVID-19 restrictions, natural disasters, while barriers unique to each group included racism, language access, and transphobia. Shared facilitators for program implementation included flexibility of programmatic work, virtual programming, and funding while facilitators unique to each group included programming and resources in their native language and virtual spaces to enhance access to TGNC affirming care. Finally, the shared impact of their programs included community connectedness while impacts unique to Latinx organizations were mobilization compared to increasing access to TGNC affirming general, gender, and HIV by TGNC led groups.

Conclusion and Implications: The results of participant ethnographic data and notes from the field outlines where Latinx and TGNC communities share experiences during unsettling times. However, the two encounter unique barriers and approaches that vary to responding to community needs. Findings will inform how the Capacity Building Wellness Center will enhance programmatic work to support Latinx and TGNC organizations in 2021.