Dr. Fleming to guide the expansion and strategic efforts of HMI’s Newark site

[NEWARK, NJ]  Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI), the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit leader in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth service programming, today announced that Dr. Ashawnda Fleming has been appointed Executive Director of HMI: Newark, effective June 9, 2014.

“Dr. Fleming is an extreme asset to the HMI leadership team, combining deep commitment to social justice with outstanding executive experience in both national and local arenas, and a powerful entrepreneurial spirit,” said Thomas Krever, Chief Executive Officer of HMI. “As HMI deepens its commitment to New Jersey, Dr. Fleming is exactly the Executive Director HMI: Newark needs to ensure that we are able to share the best of our 35 years of proven best practices, program design and life-saving services for the rapidly growing population of LGBTQ young people, in Newark, and beyond.”

Dr. Fleming has more than fifteen years of executive and program experience in providing life-saving services to at-risk urban youth, as well as substance abuse and mental health counseling to at-risk adults. Additionally, she is a seasoned fundraising and development professional, having managed organizational budgets of 2 million to 30 million annually.  Before joining HMI, she was the Chief Development Officer at Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, where she secured funding in excess of 4 million annually. 

“I am excited to assume this new role, which will involve developing new strategic alliances and partnerships to ensure the long-term sustainability of HMI: Newark,” said Dr. Fleming. “Guided by HMI’s 35 year history and best practices, I believe HMI: Newark is poised to continue as the lead direct service provider to LGBTQ youth in New Jersey.  I look forward to working closely with our board, supporters, constituents and other organizations in the LGBT and youth development fields to make this a reality.”

Dr. Fleming has served in executive management roles at institutions including: Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Georgetown University and First Candle.  She also served on the Campaign for Mental Health Reform in Washington, D.C. which was instrumental in passing the National Mental Health Parity Act of 2008.  Dr. Fleming holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from American University in Washington, D.C., a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Thomas University in Miami, FL and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL.

In 2009, Newark’s then-Mayor Cory Booker declared his intention to see Newark gain a safe LGBTQ youth center modeled after HMI’s successful programming in New York City. In 2011, HMI: Newark launched pilot programs designed specifically for LGBTQ youth in Newark, New Jersey and the northern New Jersey area. As HMI continues to expand nationally, The HMI Newark site serves as the first direct service site outside of the HMI headquarters in New York City.  HMI will offer its successful training model of proven best practices for creating a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ youth to community partners, leaders and caring adults.


Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) believes that all young people regardless of sexual orientation or identity deserve a safe environment in which to achieve their full potential. Sadly, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth face pervasive societal stigma and overwhelming challenges. HMI offers these young people a supportive community that fosters positive youth development with pioneering programs that promote physical health and mental well-being, emotional resilience, academic achievement, job readiness, and artistic/cultural creativity. We do this in ways that embody our profound belief in these young people, deep respect for who they are and confidence in their untapped abilities. Founded in 1979, HMI is the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit leader in LGBTQ youth service programming. Today, we serve more than 2,000 at-risk youth each year from over from 350 zip codes in New York and New Jersey, and an additional 12,000 young people through outreach efforts – as well as countless lives changed by our advocacy around the world. For more information please visit www.hmi.org, and follow us on Twitter (@hetrickmartin) and like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/hetrickmartin).



Bryan Pacheco
Director of Communications & Public Relations

212.674.2600 ext. 278





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