Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, Zachary Quinto, YouTube and Mars Hallma

2015 GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles

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Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, Zachary Quinto, YouTube and Georgia High School Student Mars Hallman Honored at 2015 GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (October 26, 2015) – GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students, honored Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, Zachary Quinto, YouTube and Georgia High School Student Mars Hallman at the GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles on Friday, October 23, at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills. The GLSEN Respect Awards, introduced in 2004 and held annually in Los Angeles and New York, showcase the work of students, educators, individuals and corporations who serve as exemplary role models and have made a significant impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.

Photographs from the 2015 GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles red carpet, reception and backstage and a highlight video reel are available immediately. Video clips of the ceremonies will soon be available at  

Honored for their long-standing commitment to improving the lives of children and vocal support of the LGBT community by using their profiles to raise awareness among fans and advocate for positive changes, Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake were honored with the Inspiration Award.

In their acceptance speech, Timberlake said, “And to the young people that are here tonight, or will read a quote from this tomorrow on social media: Jess and I share this honor with you. You are also standing proudly on the right side of history. And even with all the trouble in our world today, this movement is winning -- and is going to keep on winning. Thank you for starting a trend for change. A change that one day would make it possible for our own son to grow up and thrive in a world where all he has to do is just be himself.”

The program also featured GLSEN National Student Council members from California, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Tennessee and Texas who shared their own stories of why GLSEN’s work is important and how it has helped each of them in creating more positive school climates in their own communities.

Other speakers were GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard; Champion Award honoree Zachary Quinto; Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer, YouTube, accepting the Chairman’s Award; Student Advocate of the Year Mars Hallman; Target’s Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer Laysha Ward and Senior Vice President, Brand and Category Marketing Rick Gomez; Jessica Capshaw; J.J. Abrams; NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt; Connor Franta; Todrick Hall; Jeffrey Katzenberg; Gigi Gorgeous; and Joe Zee.

In honor of its 25th anniversary, GLSEN partnered with Target to produce a mini-documentary highlighting the work of students, educators and volunteers who have improved school climate for LGBT youth across the country. The video was directed by award-winning filmmaker and member of GLSEN’s Board of Directors Kimberly Reed, in partnership with Erin Judd and Mikko Timonen of NO FRAMES production company.

The GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles continues with an online auction via Charitybuzz that features items such as a tour of the set of “The Young and the Restless” with Greg Rikaart; visits to the sets of HBO’s “Looking Special,” “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider;” and tickets to Entertainment Weekly's 2016 Comic Con Party, the American Music Awards, the 2016 MTV Movie Awards and the premieres of “Secret in Their Eyes” and “Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II.”

GLSEN has led the way on LGBT issues in K-12 education since 1990. Through ground-breaking original research, innovative program development, student leadership and educator training, community organizing, and targeted state and federal advocacy, GLSEN has seen the impact of its work through the development of educational resources, direct engagement of youth and educators, and national programs like GLSEN’s Day of Silence and GLSEN’s Ally Week.

Past GLSEN Respect Awards honorees Bob Greenblatt, Simon Halls and Matt Bomer, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak, and Julia Roberts and Danny Moder returned as honorary co-chairs. Co-chairs for the event were Jim Fielding, Dave Karger and Chip Sullivan. The event was co-hosted by Greg Berlanti, Brad Bessey and Frank Sanchez, Edison Briones, Kevin Brockman and Dan Berendsen, Jess Cagle, Jessica Capshaw and Christopher Gavigan, Terry Clark, Donald De Line, Lauran Huff, Mike Irvin, Kathy Kloves, Richard Konigsberg and Craig Olsen, George Kotsiopoulos, Michael Lombardo and Sonny Ward, Corey Palent, Jonathan Rollo and Joey Gonzalez, Ben Roy, Mimi Slavin, and Ben Spector.

Corporate Sponsors of the 2015 GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles were Presenting Sponsors The Walt Disney Company and Wells Fargo, along with Target, Delta, the Edward F. Limato Foundation, A&E Television Networks, Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, Disney | ABC Television Group, DreamWorks, Ernst & Young, ESPN, 20th Century Fox, FX Networks, Fox Audience Strategy, Fox Television Group, HBO, McDonald’s, NBC, RCA and Warner Bros. Entertainment. The Media Sponsors were DiversityInc, OUT and Variety.



GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. Celebrating its 25th year, 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