GLSEN to Honor Kerry Washington at 2017 Respect Awards

GLSEN to Honor Kerry Washington at 2017 Respect Awards

- in Entertainment
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope. Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images
Kerry Washington

GLSEN, the leading national education organization creating safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ students, will honor actress, producer and activist Kerry Washington with the Inspiration Award at the 2017 GLSEN Respect Awards. The gala will be held on Friday, October 20 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Emmy and Globe nominated Washington will receive the award for making activism an integral part of her film and television career.  She is a longstanding and vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights, including the fight for marriage equality and GLSEN’s work for students across the country.  Her efforts with President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities helped bring essential arts education to low-performing schools and close the achievement gap. Washington continues to champion campaigns to end domestic violence through organizations like V-Day, where she was a longtime board member, and the Purple Purse Challenge.

“We are so proud to honor Kerry Washington at this year’s GLSEN Respect Awards. Her incredible activism focuses on uplifting everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality and class, to have an equal opportunity to succeed in schools and communities around the country,” said Eliza Byard, Executive Director, GLSEN. “We look forward to celebrating her work with LGBTQ student leaders and activists from across the country.”

“GLSEN shines a light on the importance of safe and supportive schools for LGBTQ students and it’s an honor that they invited me to be a recipient of their Inspiration Award,” said Kerry Washington.  “I’m also excited to help celebrate GLSEN’s fearless student leaders who help make a difference in their schools and communities.  These impressive high schoolers are accomplishing more than most people do in a lifetime!”

The GLSEN Respect Awards, introduced in 2004 and held annually in Los Angeles and New York, showcase the work of students, educators, community leaders, and corporations who serve as exemplary role models and have made a significant impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Past Los Angeles honorees include: Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake; Julia Roberts and Danny Moder; Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg; Bob Greenblatt; Shonda Rhimes; Matt Bomer & Simon Halls; and Kate Hudson. The GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles will welcome approximately 600 guests, including outstanding youth leaders and educators from around the country, raising more than $1 million in support of GLSEN’s work.

GLSEN has led the way on LGBTQ 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 with the development of educational resources, direct engagement of youth and educators, and national programs like GLSEN’s Day of Silence, GLSEN’s No Name-Calling Week, and GLSEN’s Ally Week.

Tickets for the Respect Awards – Los Angeles will be available soon. For additional information, please visit



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