Derek Hough joins other movie and television personalities, including NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, Julia Roberts, and her husband, Danny Moder, in being honored by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network). The honorees are receiving awards for their charitable efforts and advocacy of humanitarian causes, including those important to the LGBT communities.
Derek Hough, the popular "Dancing with the Stars" performer and choreographer, is the recipient of the 2014 GLSEN Inspiration Award. The Orlando Sentinel reported that, in announcing the award, GLSEN said that Derek is "not afraid to use his craft to give voice to those less fortunate, " citing his new book "Taking the Lead: Lessons From a Life in Motion," as a "testament to the power of a strong work ethic, dedication to one's craft, and a spirit of perseverance." GLSEN says that Hough's "bravery in speaking out against bullying through the lens of personal experience has positioned him as an invaluable advocate and ally for youth."
Eliza Byard, GLSEN executive director, was quoted in Variety as saying, "We are thrilled to announce the honorees for the 2014 GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles, which has become one of the city's premier events thanks to a deep commitment from our partners in the entertainment industry to help GLSEN realize our vision of a world where every child learn to respect and accept all people."
Julia Roberts and Danny Molder will receive the Humanitarian Award for their support of causes such as GLSEN, UNICEF, and other causes. According to People, Roberts and Molder are also being honored for raising awareness about HIV through their work. "We are proud to recognize Danny Molder and Julia Roberts, whose inspiring work on HBO's The Normal Heart has brought renewed attention to an important movement – and an on-going crisis – in LGBT and American history," GLSEN said.
Greenblatt, who previously received a GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) award for featuring a gay relationship in the HBO drama, "Six Feet Under", is being honored with the Chairman's Award for delivering programming featuring characters and story lines that positively reflect the LGBT community.
The GLSEN Respect awards were introduced in 2004 to recognize the works of companies, individuals, students, and educators who promote diversity awareness. Co-chairs for the October 17, 2014 ceremony are past GLSEN honorees, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffery Katzenberg, his wife Marilyn, "Big Bang Theory" actor, Jim Parsons, and his long-time partner, art director Todd Spiewak.
GLSEN has been involved in many projects promoting diversity awareness, such as the National Day of Silence to raise awareness of LGBT bullying in schools, as reported earlier this year by Inquisitr.
Image courtesy of RyanSeacrest.com