LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Point Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBT students of merit, presented its inaugural Courage and Inspiration awards to a film director and a television network. The presentations were made at the group’s second annual L.A. gala, held Nov. 3 at the Jim Henson Studios.
ABC’s inclusive programming includes the hit show ‘Desperate Housewives,’ which recently added gay couple Bob (Tuc Watkins, left) and Lee (Kevin Rahm).
Adam Shankman, the openly gay director of this summer’s hit movie musical “Hairspray,” as well as “The Pacifier” and “Cheaper By the Dozen 2,” received the Point Courage Award. ABC Television Network received the Point Inspiration Award.
According to the Foundation, the Point Courage Award recognizes an individual “who has selflessly advocated for the future of the LGBT community and lives with the vision that investing in today’s potential will produce a brighter tomorrow.”
The Point Inspiration Award recognizes a corporation or organization “that champions respect and inclusion of the LGBT community and operates with the vision that investing in today’s potential will produce a brighter tomorrow.”
“Not only does Adam Shankman lead a phenomenally successful career as a filmmaker, he also conducts his life with an unambiguous openness regarding his sexual orientation and it is with great pleasure that we present him with the inaugural Point Courage Award,” said Jorge Valencia, executive director and CEO of Point Foundation.
“I am deeply honored to receive the Point Courage Award,” said Shankman. “The runaway costs of higher education place an insurmountable hurdle before already marginalized students, making the work that Point does, and all of the various programs it provides, critically important. My hope is that all the Point scholars continue to pursue their educational and professional goals.”
In recognizing the inaugural Point Inspiration Award recipient, Valencia said, “ABC has demonstrated bold leadership in the way in which a major media company invested with the public trust can and should respect and include members of the LGBT community. Whether through its daytime or primetime shows, the content of its news reports or in any of its other rich programming, ABC continuously makes clear that LGBT lives have worth.”
Anne Sweeney, president of Disney-ABC Television Group, said, “This recognition from the Point Foundation is an honor that reflects the work of many talented people, and it is thanks to the commitment and vision of senior leadership across our organization that ABC programming reflects all our viewers, including the LGBT community.
“When audiences tune in they not only expect us to entertain them, they also want to see their own lives and personal experiences reflected in the characters and stories. Any success we’ve achieved has been driven by our ability to deliver on both of these expectations.”
Point scholars are selected through a rigorous and highly competitive process that requires a record of demonstrated academic excellence, leadership skills and financial need.
For more information, visit www.thepointfoundation.com.