WORCESTER, Mass. - An $800,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will help address a number of community issues in Worcester, including fighting the HIV/AIDS stigma and supporting racial equity training for health care providers, and even making poetry more accessible. 

Through the Scholarship in Action grant program, College of the Holy Cross professors and student researchers will work with community partners on different projects .

Two professors are partnering with the Family Health Center of Worcester to develop a program helping health center providers better understand racial equity and respond to racism in health care

Professor Tsitsi Masvawure says the COVID-19 pandemic showed health racial inequities within the city.

"This project seeks to respond to more of the structural racism that is in place that makes it difficult for communities of color to have equitable resources including health resources," Masvawure said.

Researchers will also work with AIDS Project Worcester to draw attention to the problem of HIV-related stigma.  They'll also work with the Worcester County Poetry Association to help people understand their connections to the places where they live and work.