In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, GLSEN, the leading education organization focused on ensuring safe and inclusive schools for all students, is re-inventing the GLSEN Respect Awards New York and boldly introducing RESPECT EVERYWHERE, a series of innovative fundraising initiatives presented in short videos running from May 18-22.
RESPECT EVERYWHERE promises to deliver the moving testaments from students and educators that have been the hallmark of the New York event, but to an even wider audience
The series will also include a reimagined Respect Awards New York, which will honor “The L Word: Generation Q” actress and ally Jennifer Beals with the Champion Award. Charlie Carver, who recently starred on Broadway in the acclaimed play “The Boys In The Band,” and will reprise his role in the upcoming Netflix film, will receive the Gamechanger Award. Ilima Intermediate School’s Rainbow Royales GSA, the “Rainbow Royales” will receive the GSA of the Year Award, and Tray Robinson will receive the Educator of the Year Award. Cast members from both “The Boys In The Band” and “The L Word” will deliver heartfelt tributes to their respective honoree co-stars.
Special videos recognizing the outstanding work of each honoree will stream daily on glsen.org/respecteverywhere at 2:00pm ET / 11:00am PT.
“Over the past two months, GLSEN has completely reconfigured its work with GSAs, educators, and LGBTQ students to create vital community and connection as we faced a new world of school closures and physical isolation during the pandemic. GLSEN’s virtual Respect Everywhere event will help us celebrate heroes that make that work possible,” said Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN. “Jennifer Beals and Charlie Carver are always there for GLSEN and the students we serve, using their platforms for positive change. And we couldn’t find two more amazing role models than Hawaii’s Ilima Intermediate School’s GSA, the Rainbow Royales, our GSA of the Year and Tray Robinson, our Educator of the Year.”
Jennifer Beals is an internationally renowned actress who has over 90 credits to her name. She executive produces and stars in the revival of her hit original series THE L WORD: GENERATION Q, which premiered in December 2019 on Showtime. For her performance as Bette Porter in the ground-breaking, lesbian-focused drama THE L WORD, Beals received the prestigious GLAAD Golden Gate Award, as well as two NAACP Image Award nominations and a Satellite Award nomination. In 2012, Beals was presented with the Human Rights Campaign’s Ally for Equality Award for her support of the LGBT community.
Beals is just as busy off-screen as she is onscreen. She and The L Word’s Ilene Chaiken are set to executive produce the Freeform series “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo,” and she and filmmaker Tom Jacobson created the concept for the new novel, The Hive, which was named one of People Magazine’s ‘Best Books of Fall 2019.’
Beals’ extensive film credits include THE BOOK OF ELI, TWILIGHT OF THE GOLDS (Golden Satellite Award winner); RUNAWAY JURY, IN THE SOUP (Grand Jury Prize, Best Dramatic Film – Sundance), and DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS (NAACP Image Award nomination). More recently, Beals co-starred in the feature film MANHATTAN NIGHT, as well as AFTER, the film adaption of the bestselling young adult novels. For her role in the iconic film FLASHDANCE, Beals earned a Golden Globe nomination and an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress.
Among her many television credits, Beals recurred in the Amazon series THE LAST TYCOON, played the female lead in NBC’s TAKEN, and co-starred in the Warner Bros TV/DC series SWAMP THING, released in May 2019.
In addition to her work on-camera, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group recently named Beals a ‘C40 Goodwill Ambassador.’ In addition to supporting bold climate actions around the world, her partnership will focus on the work being done by young people and celebrating female leadership.
Originally from Chicago, Beals attended Yale University, where she graduated with honors.
Charlie Carver is one of Hollywood’s most exciting and versatile actors working today in film, television, and theatre. He is currently in production on the Warner Bros. film THE BATMAN directed by Matt Reeves. Audiences will next see Charlie in the Netflix series RATCHED based on the novel ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST by Ken Kesey. The series is produced by Ryan Murphy and will debut in Fall 2020. Theatre credits include Charlie’s appearance on Broadway in the 2018 production of THE BOYS IN THE BAND by the late great playwright Mart Crowley. The cast won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play and a movie version will air on Netflix later this year. Charlie’s other film credits include indie project I AM MICHAEL, alongside James Franco and Zach Quinto, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as the New Line Cinema school-themed comedy FIST FIGHT with his twin brother, Max Carver. Television credits include the ABC mini-series WHEN WE RISE based off Cleve Jones’ memoir of the same title, the HBO series THE LEFTOVERS, MTV’s TEEN WOLF and ABC’s hit drama DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. Charlie is a committed advocate for the LGBTQ community, utilizing his social platforms to spotlight a variety of issues and appearing in numerous campaigns for GLSEN, including Day of Silence and Pride. He and his brother appeared in a PSA together to showcase HRC’s Equality Act and the disparity of rights that exists simply because Max is straight and Charlie is gay. Charlie currently resides in Los Angeles.
Founded in 2014, the Ilima “Rainbow Royales” club was the first GSA in a middle school in the State of Hawaii. GSA members, known on campus as the “rainbows,” seek to create a learning community that supports all students while affirming LGBTQ+ identities through education. Through participation in GLSEN campus events such as Ally Week, No Name Calling Week, and National Day of Silence, the Rainbow Royales have made their school a safer, more accepting place to learn and grow, thus ensuring students’ continued education.
The Rainbow Royales stand out for their advocacy work to make their school community more inclusive. During the 2019-2020 school year, the GSA began a menstrual supply drive that turned into a Period Equity education campaign, and ultimately a bill in the Hawaii State Legislature for free tampons and pads for all genders at all public schools. GSA students testified on HB 2430 at the Hawaii State Capitol, and the bill is currently in the Senate awaiting passage. Building on their own club’s success, the Rainbow Royales have demonstrated their commitment to the larger educational community. They partnered with a local non-profit with EWAlution 96706, a non-profit through Coalition for a Drug Free Hawaii, to obtain a large community grant through “Partnerships for Success, Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin” (SAMHSA). This to secure a grant to create an LGBTQ+ work group to build a network of safe-spaces and GSAs for the entire district for the next three years.
Born in San Jose, California, Tray Robinson grew up during that mythical era when kids played outside, rode bikes, and read books. He is currently the Counseling Enriched Special Day Class Teacher/Education Specialist at Stipe Elementary in San Jose, CA, and credits his incredible parents for his accomplishments. The love, acceptance, and guidance they provided formed the foundation for his later achievements. Robinson attended CSU Stanislaus, earning a B.A. in Psychology; received his teaching credential from National Hispanic University (NHU), NHU, and then while teaching full time, earned an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Inclusion from Concordia University, Portland. Robinson is proud to be a special educator and has taught at every grade level. His goal has always been to help students that are often overlooked. Robinson believes that educators don’t just teach students academics – they help them learn to be who they truly are. In his spare time, you might find Robinson coloring, tattooing, wood-turning, or running. He loves the outdoors, especially his annual family camping trip.
The GLSEN RESPECT Co-Chairs are Michel Mercure, Jim Parsons & Todd Spiewak, Ryan Pedlow, Nydia Sahagun, Elizabeth Stribling-Kivlan, and Chip Sullivan. The Senior Sponsors of RESPECT EVERYWHERE are Hollister and Jim Parsons & Todd Spiewak.