Honorees at the GLSEN Respect Awards - New York


Andy Marra

Public Relations Manager




Mar 28, 2013

NEW YORK - The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) today announced it will honor JPMorgan & Chase Co.; USA Network's Characters Unite campaign; respected journalist, commentator and sports writer LZ Granderson; 2013 Educator of the Year; and 2013 Gay-Straight Alliance of the Year at its annual Respect Awards - New York on Monday, May 20 at Gotham Hall.

The Respect Awards, held annually in New York and Los Angeles, showcase 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.

"GLSEN is excited to honor an amazing lineup of supporters who have stood by our mission to ensure no student is denied access to an education because of who they are," said Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN's Executive Director. "This year, we are proud to recognize the efforts of JPMorgan Chase, USA Network's Characters Unite campaign, LZ Granderson, our 2013 Gay-Straight Alliance of the Year and 2013 Educator of the Year, all of whom have made tremendous contributions toward our mission to create safe learning environments that embrace and nurture every student."

GLSEN is also excited to announce that Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer, Chlorine, Kill Your Darlings) and actor Kevin Bacon (8, The Following) will serve as Respect Awards - New York honorary co-chairs. The event is co-chaired by Cindy Armine (Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, JPMorgan Chase & Co.); Brian Elliot (Founder, Elliot Strategy; Founder, Friendfactor); Tim Federle (author, Better Nate Than Ever); and Barbara Frankel (Executive Editor and Senior Vice President, DiversityInc).

GLSEN bestows awards to a select few leaders that recognize exceptional efforts to ensure schools are safe for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. This year, GLSEN is proud to announce honorees in the following categories:

Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion Award: JPMorgan & Chase Co.

JPMorgan Chase is one of the oldest, largest and most respected financial institutions in the world, with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm's legacy dates back to 1799 when its earliest predecessor was chartered in New York City. The firm has an unwavering commitment in good times and bad to making a positive difference in the neighborhoods and communities where they operate-providing more than $200 million per year through grants and sponsorships of not-for-profit organizations across 30 U.S. markets and 35 countries.

Inspiration Award: USA Network's Characters Unite campaign

Characters Unite is USA Network's public service campaign to address the social injustices and cultural divides still prevalent in our society. Inspired by USA's iconic "Characters Welcome" brand and with the support of leading national nonprofit organizations, the ongoing initiative is dedicated to supporting activities and messaging that combat hate and discrimination while promoting understanding and acceptance - on-air, online and in communities around the country. The #1 network in all of basic cable for seven consecutive years, USA is seen in over 102 million U.S. homes and is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal.

Hero Award: LZ Granderson

"Boxes are for shoes" is the mantra award-winning columnist and TV pundit LZ Granderson lives by. African-American, openly-gay, Christian, and a father, the diversity of Mr. Granderson's work - from sports, education, and race to politics, parenting, and dating - has made him one of the most popular online columnists for both CNN and ESPN. Mr. Granderson started off as a poor, skinny kid from Detroit - and at one point was involved in criminal activity - but he always believed where a person started didn't have to dictate where a person finished. A journalist for nearly 20 years, Mr. Granderson also worked for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The South Bend Tribune and The Grand Rapids Press. In addition to his weekly online columns, Mr. Granderson is a regular TV commentator for CNN and ESPN.

2013 Gay-Straight Alliance of the Year: To Be Announced Soon!

GLSEN is in the midst of a nationwide search to find our 2013 Gay-Straight Alliance of the Year. This award is given to a group of students who have gone above and beyond in their community to ensure that all students are safe in schools, and anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bullying and name-calling become a thing of the past. GLSEN will announce the 2013 award recipient before the Respect Awards.

2013 Educator of the Year: To Be Announced Soon!

The Educator of the Year award recognizes an exceptional education professional who has enriched his or her community by ensuring that all students, particularly LGBT students, are safe from bullying and harassment. The award honors an educator who works not only to ensure safety, but impacts measurable change that is visible within that person's school district and community. GLSEN will announce the 2013 award recipient before the Respect Awards.



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.