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GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, will honor cinematographer Danny Moder and wife Julia Roberts with its Humanitarian Award for their on-going commitment to numerous philanthropic organizations at its tenth annual Respect Awards on Oct. 17 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Since being established in 1990, GLSEN has become the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students and promoting LGBT awareness in K-12 education; national programs like GLSEN’s Day of Silence and No Name-Calling Week have been used in tens of thousands of classrooms nationwide.
To support the organization last year, Roberts donated a “Lunch with Julia Roberts” as an item for GLSEN’s online auction that accompanies its Los Angeles Respect Awards each year. She raised $40,000 for the organization.
Even more than the couple’s charity work, executive director Eliza Byard tells THR, “I think it’s particularly important to point out the role that Danny and Julia played in bringing The Normal Heart to screen.” Both Moder and Roberts are current Emmy nominees for their work on the HBO film, he for outstanding cinematography and she for best supporting actress in a miniseries or movie.
Chairman of NBC Entertainment Robert Greenblatt will be presented with GLSEN’s Chairman’s Award for his career as a producer and executive spanning more than two decades. “Bob Greenblatt is an exemplary role model who has been a huge support to GLSEN for years,” Byard says, citing Six Feet Underas the beginning of Greenblatt’s journey to “reintroduce the LGBT community to the world.”
And, finally, Derek Hough — five-time winner of Dancing With the Stars and author of Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion — is the recipient of this year’s GLSEN Inspiration Award. “Hough is a new champion in the fight to end bullying. I think his new book really illuminates the kind of challenges that he has faced and the work he wants to do to make it better for the generations following him.”
Jim Parsons and art director Todd Spiewak, Parsons’ partner of 12 years, as well as Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg — all past honorees — are back this year co-chairing the event.
In addition, GLSEN also announced the host committee for the October event including industry names Arrow EP Greg Berlanti and L.A. Galaxy soccer star Robbie Rogers, Entertainment Tonight EP Brad Bessey and husband Frank Sanchez, ABC exec vp global communications Kevin Brockman and Baby Daddy creator Dan Berendsen, People and Entertainment Weekly‘s Jess Cagle, Green Lantern producer Donald De Line, White Collar‘s Matt Bomer and Slate PR partner Simon Halls, Dancing With the Stars senior producer Deena Katz, The Following‘s Kevin Williamson, HBO’s Michael Lombardo and his partner, architect Sonny Ward and DreamWorks Studios head of publicity Chip Sullivan. GLSEN’s national board chair is Kevin Brockman, evp of global communications for Disney/ABC Television Group.
On the night of the awards, GLSEN will also announce their Student Advocate of the Year.
“In the end, what this is all about, all of the work, all of the glamor … Is changing the experience of young people in schools from coast to coast, and supporting the student activists who are right alongside all of us, fighting these battles in their school every day,” Byard explains, calling them “the stars among stars.”
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