Hetrick-Martin Institute, a leader in direct services and advocacy for LGBTQ youth, encourages the community to imagine a world where all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, can achieve their full potential. The billboard, part of a month-long, multi-media campaign called “Help Me Imagine,” aims to raise awareness of the struggles facing LGBTQ youth across the country.
Generously donated by American Eagle, the billboard space at 46th Street and Broadway will show “Help Me Imagine” campaign images for one minute every hour, throughout the entire month of June. HMI will accompany the billboard with a digital campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, engaging users to share their hopes for the future with the hashtag #HelpMeImagine. AOL provided studio and creative services to build the concept, images and video content for billboard.
Shared throughout the social media platforms, statements like “Help Me Imagine a world free of labels,” and “Help Me Imagine a safe place to sleep,” glow in contrast to the startling and painful statistics of the challenges facing LGBTQ youth – including poverty, homelessness, harassment, and social exclusion.
“HMI envisions a world where all people are safe, loved and can reach their full potential. We have personally witnessed the profound results of what happens when a child – or tens of thousands of young people – is given unconditional love, guidance, mentorship and support. Today is your opportunity to join us and imagine a world where no young person is left unattended, abandoned or denied their right to be a part of our community. What would that world look like to you? Please join us by sharing, what would YOU IMAGINE…?” – HMI CEO, Thomas Krever
“Joining the #HelpMeImagine campaign and being an HMI ambassador has been a natural fit for me. I’ve been blessed to see so many of my dreams come true. Every child deserves that opportunity. And that’s what HMI does. HMI imagines a better world for us. That’s a dream I can stand behind.” – Cheyenne Jackson
“Imagination is the most magical and powerful thing. Innovation and progress happen when imagination is allowed to flourish. Try to imagine a world where all children are created equal and have the same opportunities – not just to basic rights like education and healthcare, but free from worrying about having somewhere safe to sleep or where their next meal is coming from. Imagine how magical a world it could be if young people had the opportunity to access the future they deserve.” – Alan Cumming
“It’s thrilling to witness to all the advances that have been made in our lifetime for the rights and well being of LGBTQ people. Marriage equality was a huge win, but the fight doesn’t end there. We imagine a world where there is no need to fight for equality. We imagine a time when LGBTQ youth can grow up in loving and supportive homes and have the freedom to learn in schools that create an environment where all children are equal. That is why we are supporting HMI’s Help Me Imagine campaign.” – Tegan and Sara
To take part in HMI’s campaign #HelpMeImagine, check out www.helpmeimagine.org.
Interviews and images available upon request.
About American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO) is a leading global specialty retailer offering high-quality, on-trend clothing, accessories and personal care products at affordable prices under its American Eagle Outfitters® and Aerie® brands. The company operates more than 1,000 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, and ships to 81 countries worldwide through its websites. American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie merchandise also is available at 151 international stores operated by licensees in 22 countries. For more information, please visit www.ae.com.
AOL is a media technology company with a mission to connect consumers and creators through open marketplaces. AOL uses data to disrupt content production, distribution and monetization. The company connects publishers with advertisers across its global, programmatic platforms, tapping into Microsoft inventory and original content brands like TechCrunch, The Huffington Post and MAKERS which reach over 500 million monthly global consumers. Within its mobile advertising network alone, AOL has a reach of roughly 800 million users. A subsidiary of Verizon, AOL is shaping the digital future.
About Hetrick-Martin Institute
Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) believes all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential. HMI creates this environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth between the ages of 13 and 24 and their families. Through a comprehensive package of direct services and referrals, HMI seeks to foster 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.