Apple CEO Tim Cook to Be Honored by GLSEN for LGBTQ Advocacy and Equality Efforts

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The Apple CEO will receive one of the night’s biggest honors at an event where the program also boasts names like Julia Roberts, Greg Berlanti, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and Ellen Pompeo.

GLSEN — the national education organization that champions LGBTQ students and issues in K-12 education — has found a champion at Apple. CEO Tim Cook has been selected to receive the Champion Award at GLSEN’s Respect Awards in Los Angeles.

Cook will be honored Oct. 25 at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills for “his ongoing commitment to fighting for LGBTQ rights and creating safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ community,” according to the organization. GLSEN singled out his efforts “investing in educational opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds, and ensuring Apple offices and stores are open and welcoming to everyone.” During his tenure at CEO, Apple has donated millions to the American Red Cross and other NGOs, has become the largest corporate donor to (RED) to fight AIDS in Africa and became the Malala Fund’s first laureate partner.

In a statement, Cook expressed his gratitude to GLSEN for their work on behalf of the LGBTQ community. “At Apple, our commitment to inclusion helps us do our best work, each and every day. Innovation depends on openness to new ideas, a culture of curiosity and a climate free from shame and stigma — that’s true not only for Apple, I believe it’s true for everyone,” he said. 

GLSEN executive director Eliza Byard said her organization is “profoundly honored” to honor Cook in this way. “In pursuing our mission to promote inclusive and affirming K-12 schools for LGBTQ students, we seek to bring about our shared vision of full inclusion for LGBTQ people everywhere and a more vibrant world,” she added. 

Co-chairs for the event include Andrew Graham, Dave Karger, Patrick Moran and Chip Sullivan, while honorary co-chairs include Julia Roberts and Danny Moder; Greg Berlanti and Robbie Rogers; Matt Bomer and Simon Halls; Bruce Bozzi and Bryan Lourd; Jess Cagle and Matt Whitney; Connor Franta; Bob Greenblatt; Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg; Blair and David Kohan; Max Mutchnick and Erik Hyman; Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak; and Ellen Pompeo. The event is sponsored by Apple and Wells Fargo. 

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