Watch: How HMI and Hope in a Box are Empowering LGBTQ+ Youth

by Matthew Wexler

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday August 25, 2021

LGBTQ+ youth are facing more than a pandemic when they head back to school this fall. Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is rippling through the country, with a particular emphasis on trans youth. But many queer-focused nonprofits are turning advocacy into action.

In this special episode of "On the EDGE," senior editor Matthew Wexler welcomes Hetrick-Martin Institute for LGBTQ+ Youth (HMI) Chief Program Officer Bridget Hughes and Hope in a Box Executive Director Seth Rosen to talk about how their organizations are empowering queer youth and strengthening allyship for an inclusive future for all.

This live conversation with two of the country's most impactful LGBTQ+ youth-focused organizations offers thoughtful insights on the importance of supporting queer youth and ways you can get involved.

According to the Trevor Project, 75% of LGBTQ+ youth surveyed reported that they had experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity at least once in their lifetime. HMI and Hope in a Box each offer unique and innovative ways to provide queer youth the support they need and are also creating advocacy communities to ensure inclusivity for generations to come.

HMI is the oldest and largest organization helping LGBTQ+ and questioning youth reach their full potential. HMI's Center for LGBTQ Youth Advocacy and Capacity Building advocates on behalf of LGBTQ+ youth by influencing policy on local, national and international levels while helping to build the capacity of decision-makers, individuals and institutions that serve this marginalized population. In addition, HMI is the host agency for the groundbreaking Harvey Milk High School, devoted to serving at-risk youth. As HMI continues to expand nationally, HMI: New Jersey serves as its first direct service site outside of the HMI headquarters in New York City.

Founded in 2018, Hope in a Box has quickly grown to become a go-to resource for public school educators by providing curated sets of LGBTQ-inclusive literature, distinctive curriculum for these books, and community and training on how to build an LGBTQ+-inclusive classroom. It is the nation's largest early-intervention program for building LGBTQ+-inclusive classrooms and maintains the most extensive library of LGBTQ+-inclusive curriculum in the United States, serving more than 70,000 students across all 50 states.

Matthew Wexler is EDGE's Senior Editor, Features & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.