NEW YORK - GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, will honor Cyndi Lauper, Pfizer, American Express, and David Dechman and Michel Mercure at the seventh annual Respect Awards - New York on Monday, May 24, at Gotham Hall.
GLSEN will also recognize its Student Advocate of the Year, presented by AT&T, an honor given to a student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and a courageous voice in efforts to promote respect for all students.
The Respect Awards, held annually in Los Angeles and New York, recognize individual and corporate leaders who have helped propel GLSEN's efforts to ensure safe schools for all of America's students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
Inspiration Award: Cyndi Lauper
An unwavering advocate for LGBT equality since the start of her career, Cyndi Lauper founded the True Colors Fund in 2008 to inspire and engage everyone, particularly the straight community, to become involved in the advancement of LGBT equality, and selected GLSEN as its official education partner (www.wegiveadamn.org).
Corporate Role Model Award: Pfizer
Pfizer's diversity and inclusion aspiration is straightforward: We will be an industry leader and one of the Top 10 global corporations in Diversity and Inclusion. For seven consecutive years, Pfizer has scored a perfect 100 on the HRC Corporate Equality Index and was the first pharmaceutical company to achieve that distinction.
Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion: American Express
American Express has a long history of being a strong supporter of LGBT inclusive policies and practices. American Express is driving innovation by connecting employees, merchants and customers through its LGBT employee networks and diverse market efforts. While creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive environment within American Express remains a top priority, the company is laser focused on developing relevant products and services to reach diverse customer segments. The company's PRIDE employee network, established in 1990, now has nine chapters across the globe with more than 1000 members. American Express scored a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index and ranks number 12 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity, as well as appearing on the Top 10 list for LGBT Employees. American Express has been a supporter of GLSEN since 2008.
Lifetime Achievement Award: David Dechman and Michel Mercure
David Dechman and Michel Mercure were among GLSEN's very first major supporters and were instrumental in building the organization from the ground up. David was the first openly gay partner at Goldman Sachs and is the co-founder and CEO of Summit Rock Advisors. Michel is the founder and president of AD+ Incorporated, a large format printing company. David and Michel are active in many philanthropic ventures, including the work of the Gill Foundation.
Past Respect Awards - New York honorees include: PepsiCo, KPMG, Mary Jane Karger, John J. Mack, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, the National Education Association, Citigroup, former U.S. House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and his daughter Chrissy Gephardt, student leaders Talia Stein and Mariano Gatte, Lehman Brothers, Andrew Tobias and MTV.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and 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.