FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HETRICK-MARTIN INSTITUTE COMMEMORATES 45 YEARS OF EMPOWERING QUEER AND TRANS YOUTH
The LGBTQIA+ Youth Organization Perseveres in Offering Community, Care, and Connection
New York, NY, January 11, 2024 – Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) is proudly celebrating its 45th anniversary as the nation’s premier LGBTQIA+ Youth Services organization. In 1979, its founders, Dr. Emery Hetrick and Dr. Damien Martin, were moved to action when they learned about a 15-year-old boy who had been beaten and forcibly removed from his emergency shelter simply because he identified as gay. In response to this injustice, they, along with other concerned adults, established the Institute for the Protection of Lesbian and Gay Youth. In 1988, in recognition of Dr. Hetrick’s and Dr. Martin’s unwavering dedication to serving queer and trans youth, the organization was renamed the Hetrick-Martin Institute.
Today, amidst a critical juncture marked by escalating mental health challenges among LGBTQIA+ youth and a concerning surge in anti-LGBTQ legislation nationwide, HMI remains resolutely committed. As the need has never been more pressing, HMI not only aims to sustain its distinguished legacy but also endeavors to elevate and enrich it. Hetrick-Martin is steadfast in its dedication to enhancing its service delivery for queer and trans youth, with a focus on continuous improvement. Furthermore, the organization is poised to expand its reach, aspiring to make an even more significant impact on the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth across the nation.
HMI Chief Executive Officer Amy Harclerode said, “We’re dedicated to upholding a legacy of community, care, and connection for queer and trans youth. Since 1979, HMI has been a pioneering force, ensuring LGBTQIA+ youth have access to a supportive community—especially youth of color facing economic challenges who are often forced to navigate systems that aren’t built for them and can cause harm. As we commemorate this momentous milestone, our mission is to continue setting the pace by making impactful strides to ensure young people have free, long-term access to the highest standard of care, while providing a host of cultivated services and resources designed to help them thrive by empowering and affirming their identities.”
HMI is set to celebrate its 45-year anniversary with a special focus throughout the year, commencing with the 18th Annual Awards Ball, themed “The Year of the Dragon,” slated for January 27 at Terminal 5 in New York City. The annual Women Speak event, celebrating the diversity of women and those who identify as female, follows on April 17 at Tapestry at Hudson Yards in Midtown Manhattan. The organization is excited to elevate its annual events, as a way to mark its rich history and to energize its constituents and supporters, inspiring them to actively contribute to the ongoing legacy.
ABOUT HETRICK-MARTIN INSTITUTE
Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) is the nation’s oldest LGBTQIA+ youth organization serving queer and trans youth, primarily of color, between the ages of 13 and 24. Through a comprehensive package of direct services and referrals, the organization fosters healthy youth development. HMI’s staff promotes excellence in the delivery of youth services and uses its expertise to create innovative programs that other organizations may use as models. HMI serves a diverse community, the vast majority of whom identify as Black or people of color. The youth organization is dedicated to building its approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels, throughout its operations and functions.