GLSEN RESPECT EVERYWHERE HONOREES KALEN ALLEN AND TRAY ROBINSON
NEW YORK (May 21, 2020) – Today, GLSEN, the leading education organization focused on ensuring safe and inclusive schools for all students, honored Kalen Allen with the Visionary Award and Tray Robinson with the Educator of the Year Award as part of RESPECT EVERYWHERE, a series of innovative fundraising initiatives presented in short videos running from May 18-22.
The tribute videos, which are now live on glsen.org/respecteverywhere
Other GLSEN RESPECT EVERYWHERE honorees include Jennifer Beals, Charlie Carver, Ben Platt, and Ilima Intermediate School’s Rainbow Royales GSA.
Special videos recognizing the outstanding work of each honoree will stream daily on glsen.org/respecteverywhere
Discovered in 2018 by renowned talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, award-nominated actor, producer, and television personality Kalen Allen first made a name for himself through his hilarious “Kalen Reacts” videos, giving colorful and witty commentary on culinary concoctions online. Today, Allen holds a regular guest spot on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and often takes his trademark wide-brimmed red hat and infectious personality to high-profile events, such as the Billboard Music Awards and the MTV Video Music Awards as Ellen’s correspondent. He also has his own weekly digital news series, “OMKalen,” where he gives one-of-a-kind commentary on hot topics and trending stories of the week.
On the digital front, Allen’s videos boast an impressive 600+ million views across all Ellen platforms and is growing by the day. While Allen continues to entertain on television, he will soon make his feature film acting debut in Seth Rogen’s “An American Pickle” for HBO Max. Based on the 2013 New Yorker novella “Sell-Out,” the comedy follows an immigrant worker at a pickle factory that is accidentally preserved for 100 years and wakes up in modern-day Brooklyn. The film, which also stars Maya Erskine (“Insecure”) and Sarah Snook (“Succession”), is directed by Brandon Trost (“The Disaster Artist”) and will premiere August 6, 2020.
Born in San Jose, California, Tray Robinson grew up during that mythical era when kids played outside, rode bikes, and read books. He is currently the Counseling Enriched Special Day Class Teacher/Education Specialist at Stipe Elementary in San Jose, CA, and credits his incredible parents for his accomplishments. The love, acceptance, and guidance they provided formed the foundation for his later achievements. Robinson attended CSU Stanislaus, earning a B.A. in Psychology; received his teaching credential from National Hispanic University (NHU), NHU, and then while teaching full time, earned an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Inclusion from Concordia University, Portland. Robinson is proud to be a special educator and has taught at every grade level. His goal has always been to help students that are often overlooked. Robinson believes that educators don’t just teach students academics – they help them learn to be who they truly are. In his spare time, you might find Robinson coloring, tattooing, wood-turning, or running. He loves the outdoors, especially his annual family camping trip.
The GLSEN RESPECT Co-Chairs are Michel Mercure, Jim Parsons & Todd Spiewak, Ryan Pedlow, Nydia Sahagun, Elizabeth Stribling-Kivlan, and Chip Sullivan. The Senior Sponsors of RESPECT EVERYWHERE are Hollister and Jim Parsons & Todd Spiewak.
GLSEN works to create safe and inclusive schools for all. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools across the United States, and our network of 40+ community-led chapters brings GLSEN’s expertise to local communities. GLSEN’s progress and impact have won support for inclusive schools at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research, and educator training programs, please visit www.glsen.org.