This Monday was the 13th Annual GLSEN Respect Awards -- New York! At the #RespectAwards, we honored an incredible set of individuals and corporations that have made a positive impact on the lives of LGBT youth and changed school climates for the better.
Among the honorees were ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos and actress Ali Wentworth, who were recognized for improving the lives of young people and for providing opportunities for marginalized communities. We also honored Ilene Chaiken, best known for her hit shows The L Word and Empire, for providing LGBT young people with role models and increasing visibility through positive media representations of LGBT people in her work. They shared the stage with Amber Schweitzer, GLSEN's Educator of the Year, and the Academy for Young Writers GSA, GLSEN's GSA of the Year, which have both worked tirelessly in their local communities to make schools safer and more affirming for every student.
Last but certainly not least, we honored Optimedia, a leader in business and media that has partnered with GLSEN for years. To elevate GLSEN's work nationwide, Optimedia has secured close to $3 million in donated ad space, from highway billboards and mall kiosks in rural parts of the country to a sky-scraper-high billboard in the heart of Times Square. They've also provided opportunities for GLSEN students at career days, and their staff members have spent countless hours on GLSEN initiatives. Optimedia is a true corporate ally to LGBT youth!
At the event, Optimedia's Kurt Wahlstrom took over GLSEN's Instagram to give us his unique view from the red carpet. He snapped photos of some of our honorees and special guests, plus other folks from his company. Check out the pics below, and follow us on Instagram @glsenofficial for more photos from the event and the latest updates on GLSEN's work!