Star-studded event honors leaders that help make GLSEN’s work possible
New York, NY – GLSEN proudly hosted the second annual Respect Awards on May 16th at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York. An inspiring evening filled with laughter, tears and hope, The New York Gala was GLSEN’s official kick-off event to celebrate 10 years of ensuring safe schools for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/ expression. The sold-out and star-studded night raised over $700,000 for GLSEN and featured moving testimonials, video tributes, and even a song from outgoing board president Christie Hardwick Vianson.
View photos from the event.
“As GLSEN begins its celebration of
10 years of leadership on safe schools issues, we want to take time to honor those who, through their extraordinary efforts, help to make our work possible,” said Kevin Jennings, Founder and Executive Director of GLSEN. “We don’t work simply to ensure safe schools for today; we’re part of a great movement that is working to make a better future in which every child learns to accept and respect all people.”
Hosts and presenters for the Respect Awards 2005 included the hilarious Delta Burke of “Designing Women” and the current Broadway run of “Steel Magnolias,” husband and father Christopher Meloni of NBC’s “Law and Order: SVU”, and HBO’s “OZ”, MTV News correspondent and activist John Norris and award-winning author Andrew Tobias.
The presenters helped add a little glamour to the evening’s festivities and brought the attention of local and national media to GLSEN’s big night.
2005 Honorees included the Honorable Richard Gephardt, former Presidential candidate and Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and his daughter Chrissy Gephardt for their intergenerational support of safe schools for all students; Lehman Brothers, represented by President and COO Joe Gregory, for their tireless efforts to promote LGBT leadership and equality, and Talia Stein, a high school senior and GLSEN student leader from Buffalo Grove, IL, who took on her school’s administration and won the right to establish a Gay-Straight Alliance on campus.
Proud sponsors in attendance included representatives and senior executives from Citigroup, CSFB, Goldman Sachs, Holland & Knight, IBM, Johnson Family Foundation, Korn/ Ferry International, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, Lehman Brothers, Merck & Co., Merrill Lynch, MTV Networks, Open Society Institute, Pfizer, Inc., Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Terry Watanabe Foundation, UBS, Wachovia, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP.
GLSEN, or the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, now in its 10th year, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for ALL students. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information on GLSEN’s educational resources, public policy agenda, student organizing programs or development initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.