GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students, will honor Connor Franta at GLSEN’s Respect Awards – Los Angeles to be held Friday, October 21, at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills.

In addition, past honorees Matt Bomer and Simon Halls, Bob Greenblatt, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak, and Julia Roberts and Danny Moder will return as honorary co-chairs for the event.

The GLSEN Respect Awards, introduced in 2004 and held annually in Los Angeles and New York, showcase the work of students, educators, individuals and corporations who serve as exemplary role models and have made a significant impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

“It is such a pleasure to announce the first of our honorees for the 2016 GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles,” said GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard. “Connor Franta has carried the message of respect to millions of young people online, and his authentic self-expression is the type that we envision for all of the youth we serve.”

Connor Franta will be honored for his deep commitment to youth welfare and LGBTQ advocacy. Through his online presence that touches millions of youth, he has elevated GLSEN programs, such as GLSEN’s Day of Silence, and is collaborating with GLSEN on a charitable campaign in partnership with Connor’s Common Culture lifestyle brand.

GLSEN has led the way on LGBTQ issues in K-12 education since 1990. Through ground-breaking original research, innovative program development, student leadership and educator training, community organizing, and targeted state and federal advocacy, GLSEN has seen the impact of its work with the development of educational resources, direct engagement of youth and educators, and national programs like GLSEN’s Day of Silence, GLSEN’s No Name-Calling Week, and GLSEN’s Ally Week.

Previous GLSEN Respect Awards honorees have included Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel; Zachary Quinto; Julia Roberts and Danny Moder; Derek Hough; Matthew Morrison; NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt; Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg; Bob and Harvey Weinstein; former NBA player Jason Collins; Darren Star; Shonda Rhimes; Michele and Rob Reiner; Andrew Tobias; John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley; NBA executive Rick Welts; the National Education Association; Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak; Simon Halls and Matt Bomer; MTV; Disney-ABC Television; Johnson & Johnson; and HBO, as well as student leaders and educators from around the country.

Co-chairs for this year’s event are Jim Fielding, Dave Karger, Patrick Moran and Chip Sullivan. The event is co-hosted by Lawrence Angrisani, Greg Berlanti and Robbie Rogers, Brad Bessey and Frank Sanchez, Edison Briones, Kevin Brockman and Dan Berendsen, Jess Cagle, Jessica Capshaw and Christopher Gavigan, Terry Clark, Donald De Line, Andrew Hotz and Kevin Friedman, Lauren Huff, Mike Irvin, Richard Konigsberg and Craig Olsen, Duncan Millership and Simon Thomas, Cody Morris and Christopher Landon, Corey Palent, Jonathan Rollo and Joey Gonzalez, Ben Roy, Mimi Slavin, and Ben Spector.

Sponsors of the 2016 GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles include Presenting Sponsors Wells Fargo, Target and The Walt Disney Company.

For more information about the GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles, click here.

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