Introducing Project ACE Website:
Empowering Communities Through Online Training to Reduce HIV Stigma

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new website dedicated to the Acceptance and Commitment to Empowerment (ACE) Study. Project ACE is an innovative initiative aimed at reducing HIV and related stigma and promoting community resilience. The website serves as a comprehensive resource, featuring essential headings such as Background of Our Research Project, How to Take Part in Our Research, Our Team of Researchers, Staff and Collaborators, and a regularly updated blog on news and milestones.

Built upon robust evidence generated from our prior CHAMP and Strength In Unity studies, the ACE program blends Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Social Justice Capacity Building (SJCB) into a comprehensive model. ACE as an integrated approach has proven efficacy in reducing both individual and collective stigma, enhancing psychological flexibility, and promoting collective empowerment.

Project ACE is taking place across six sites in Canada, including Alberta (Calgary, Edmonton) and Ontario (Durham, London, Niagara & Ottawa). It aims to engage around 280-300 community participants living with, affected by, or vulnerable to HIV, as well as community champions for social justice and health equity.

Our new website also provides an outline of our multi-phase program:

  • Phase 1: Contextual Assessment and Application. This phase focuses on gathering insights from service providers and community leaders to tailor the ACE online training activities for specific local needs.
  • Phase 2: ACE Train-the-Trainer Community Capacity Building. Here, service providers and community leaders will be trained to become ACE facilitators, mentored by our principal investigators.
  • Phase 3: ACE Training with Community Members. This is when we will roll out our ACE online training to community members living with, affected by, or vulnerable to HIV.

Each learning module in the ACE program incorporates core values and principles such as interdependence, social justice, equity, empathy/compassion, and collective empowerment, supported by six psychological processes defined under ACT and four strategies in the SJCB model.

We welcome you to explore our website to learn more about this transformative project and invite you to join us in our endeavor to make a lasting impact in communities affected by HIV.

We would be remiss not to acknowledge the incredible team behind Project ACE. Our dedicated researchers, hailing from multiple institutions across Canada, bring an interdisciplinary approach to this vital work. We are also deeply grateful for our collaborating partners who lend their expertise and resources to amplify the impact of this initiative. Last but not least, a special thanks to our hardworking staff members, who are the backbone of this project, ensuring its smooth execution and success. Their collective contributions make it possible for us to strive toward a more inclusive and resilient community.

Professor Josephine Pui-Hing Wong
Nominated Principal Investigator
Project ACE