Yesterday, The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) announced that it will honor DreamWorks Animation co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn Katzenberg, as well as "White Collar" star Matt Bomer and his partner, Hollywood publicity executive Simon Halls, at the eighth annual Respect Awards.
The Respect Awards, to be held in Los Angeles on Friday, October 5 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, showcases the work of corporations, individuals, students and educators who have made a significant difference in the areas of diversity, inclusion and the safe schools movement, and who serve as exemplary role models.
Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for providing support and leading fundraising efforts on behalf of many local, national and international organizations focused on healthcare, tolerance, education, the arts, Jewish causes, children, civic improvement, political issues and the environment.
Katzenberg tells The Hollywood Reporter, "My wife was a grade-school teacher in the South Bronx for a half dozen years and that's a big part of the reason why these programs are important to us. She has a great appreciation for what happens in classrooms... GLSEN is a remarkable organization that has been a pioneer in raising awareness about bias-based bullying and discrimination."
Simon Halls, publicity executive of Slate PR, and his partner, "White Collar" actor Matt Bomer, will be honored with the Inspiration Award for their commitment to family and a variety causes they care for, including GLSEN. Halls, who has three sons with Bomer -- Kit, Walker and Henry -- tells The Hollywood Reporter, "Both Matt and I are incredibly impressed by the great work that GLSEN does for kids who might normally not have somewhere to turn. Even in this day and age, LGBT kids still need all the support that we can give them. We are both very humbled to be receiving this honor."
Additionally, the Student Advocate of the Year, which recognizes a student who has advanced LGBT equality in their school or community, working to ensure that all students are safe and free of bullying, name-calling and harassment, will be announced. Based on our meeting with the 2012-2013 student ambassadors, who visited Huffington Post Gay Voices last month, this is sure to be a difficult decision. See more on their visit here.
Director Eliza Byard said in a press release, "GLSEN is thrilled to honor these incredible supporters who have worked to advance our vision to make schools safe and affirming for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression."
About GLSEN: GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.