GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students, honored Kate Hudson, Connor Franta, Jess Cagle, Target, Kevin Brockman and San Diego high-school student Edward Estrada at GLSEN’s Respect Awards – Los Angeles on Friday, October 21, at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills.
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.
The program also featured GLSEN National Student Council members from California, Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Texas who shared their own stories of why GLSEN’s work is important and how it has helped each of them in creating more positive school climates in their own communities.
Speakers were GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard; Inspiration Award honoree Kate Hudson; #Gamechanger Award honoree Connor Franta; Visionary Award honoree Jess Cagle; Rick Gomez, SVP Brand and Category Marketing, Target, accepting the Champion Award; Hero Award honoree Kevin Brockman; Student Advocate of the Year Edward Estrada; Julia Roberts; Garrett Clayton; Nina Dobrev; Jeffrey Katzenberg; Kate Mulgrew; Charlie Carver; Jim Fielding; Jim Parsons; Robbie Rogers; and Andrew Graham.
The GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles continues with an online auction via Charitybuzz that features items such as a private lunch with Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello; tickets to the premieres and afterparties of movies “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” in New York City and “Arrival” in Los Angeles; an acoustic guitar signed by Katy Perry; dinner and taping of “Hell’s Kitchen,” including meeting host Gordon Ramsay; exclusive hotel packages for stays in California and Arizona; and set visits to “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “Cake Wars.”
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.
Honorary co-chairs for the event were Matt Bomer and Simon Halls, Bob Greenblatt, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chris McMillan, Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak, and Julia Roberts and Danny Moder.
Co-chairs for this year’s event were Jim Fielding, Dave Karger, Patrick Moran and Chip Sullivan. The event was co-hosted by Larry Angrisani, Greg Berlanti and Robbie Rogers, Brad Bessey and Frank Sanchez, Edison Briones, Kevin Brockman and Dan Berendsen, Jessica Capshaw and Christopher Gavigan, Terry Clark, Donald De Line, Matt Henry, Andrew Hotz and Kevin Friedman, Lauran Huff, Mike Irvin, Richard Konigsberg and Craig Olsen, George Kotsiopoulos, Carlos Lopez, 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 included Presenting Sponsors Wells Fargo, Target and The Walt Disney Company.