GLSEN, the leading education organization working to create safe and inclusive K-12 schools for LGBTQ youth, is pleased to announce that it will honor Apple CEO Tim Cook at the 2019 GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles.

Cook will receive the Champion Award for his ongoing commitment to fighting for LGBTQ rights and creating safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ community. The ceremony will take place on Friday, October 25 at the Beverly Wilshire. Additional honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.

“I am grateful to GLSEN for this honor and for all their work to ensure the LGBTQ community is treated with dignity and respect,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. “At Apple, our commitment to inclusion helps us do our best work, each and every day. Innovation depends on openness to new ideas, a culture of curiosity and a climate free from shame and stigma — that’s true not only true for Apple, I believe it’s true for everyone.”

As Apple’s CEO, Cook has championed inclusion and diversity, investing in educational opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds, and ensuring Apple offices and stores are open and welcoming to everyone. In the eight years since Tim became CEO, Apple has given millions of dollars to the American Red Cross and other NGOs, has become the largest corporate donor to (RED) to fight AIDS in Africa, and became Malala Fund’s first Laureate partner.

Last year, Tim was again named to Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list. He has also been named Person of the Year by the Financial Times and honored with the Newseum’s Free Speech Award for using his position to take a public stand on important social issues. In April 2018, observing the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s death, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference presented Tim with its Keeper of the Dream Award for Human Rights. Apple has ranked #1 on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies for the past twelve years, including each year Tim has been CEO.

GLSEN is profoundly honored to present the Champion Award to Apple CEO, Tim Cook, and to celebrate his visionary leadership and extraordinary philanthropic work, said Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN. “In pursuing our mission to promote inclusive and affirming K-12 schools for LGBTQ students, we seek to bring about our shared vision of full inclusion for LGBTQ people everywhere and a more vibrant world.”

The Co-Chairs for this year’s GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles include Andrew Graham, Dave Karger, Patrick Moran, and Chip Sullivan. Honorary co-chairs include Greg Berlanti & Robbie Rogers, Matt Bomer & Simon Halls, Bruce Bozzi & Bryan Lourd, Jess Cagle & Matt Whitney, Connor Franta, Bob Greenblatt, Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg, Blair & David Kohan, Max Mutchnick & Erik Hyman, Jim Parsons & Todd Spiewak, and Ellen Pompeo. The event is sponsored by Apple and Wells Fargo. Last year’s ceremony honored actress and activist Yara Shahidi; Will & Grace co-creators and executive producers Max Mutchnick & David Kohan; actress, producer, and activist Ellen Pompeo; Elizabeth Gabler, President, Fox 2000 Pictures, accepting on behalf of Twentieth Century Fox Film; and Student Advocate of the Year Ruby Noboa.

The GLSEN Respect Awards, introduced in 2004 and held annually in Los Angeles and New York, showcase the work of students, educators, community leaders, and corporations who serve as exemplary role models and have made a significant impact on the lives of LGBTQ youth. Past honorees include Kerry Washington, Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg, Julia Roberts and Danny Moder, Zendaya, Brendon Urie, Shonda Rhimes, and Carla Gugino.


For nearly three decades, GLSEN has led the way on LGBTQ issues in K-12 education through ground-breaking original research, innovative program development, educator training, student organizing, and targeted state and federal advocacy. With the development of educational resources, direct engagement of youth and educators, and GLSEN national programs like Day of Silence, No Name-Calling Week, and Ally Week, GLSEN has seen the impact of its work in measurable improvements in the lives of LGBTQ students in the United States.

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