Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Floralba A. Marrero, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Jennifer Keeley, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Alicia Holland, Ed.D.


Sexual minority youth continue to report higher instances of negative experiences in schools compared to non-sexual minority peers. The purpose of this study was to understand whether sexual minority youth advocacy organizations engage with inner-city schools and whether this leads to the awareness about sexual minority youth and enhanced advocacy for this population through the development of policy specific to sexual minority youth. The theory of heteronormativity shapes the school environment and suggests that heterosexuality is normal and opposition to this is not normal or natural causing the marginalization of sexual minority youth. The research questions examined interactions between sexual minority youth advocacy organizations with inner-city school personnel and whether diversity training led to policy development specific to sexual minority youth at the school. A survey was sent out to employees and volunteers at minority youth advocacy organizations at various inner-city locations. Pearson’s chi-square analysis was used to determine if there was any relationship between the categorical variables. Findings from this study indicate a relationship between the frequency of contact with school leadership by sexual minority youth organizations and the request for diversity training by the school. There was also a relationship between the request for diversity training and the development of policy to support sexual minority youth in schools.

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