GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, announced today that it will honor entrepreneur and investor Sam Altman with the Ric Weiland Award at the GLAAD Gala San Francisco at City View at Metreon on September 9, 2017. The event recognizes tech industry innovators who advance LGBTQ acceptance and also funds GLAAD's work to grow LGBTQ inclusion in digital and social media.
Television host Ross Mathews will host the event, which is presented by Ketel One Vodka, and Wells Fargo. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.glaad.org/sfgala .
Sam Altman is the president of Y Combinator, an accelerator that has invested in multiple companies that pride themselves on supporting positive social change. Altman is also a personal investor in many companies that have been at the forefront of LGBTQ inclusion including Airbnb, Reddit, and Pinterest. Most recently he invested in Change.org, a site that has been a driving force behind key LGBTQ victories including the successful overturn of the Boy Scout of America's ban on LGBTQ youth. Altman has also been an outspoken advocate against overturning net neutrality rules, which could enable internet service providers to restrict content including resources for marginalized groups like the LGBTQ community. Altman was named the top investor under 30 by Forbes in 2015, one of the "Best Young Entrepreneurs in Technology" by BusinessWeek in 2008, and listed by Paul Graham as one of the five most interesting startup founders.
"Through his leadership as a globally recognized and out entrepreneur, Sam Altman has advanced diversity and inclusion in the tech industry and empowered countless LGBTQ individuals to pursue their career goals," said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO. "Whether it's through personal investment or via Y Combinator's cultivation, Altman has supported LGBTQ inclusion in some of the nation's most visible companies today."
The Ric Weiland Award honors innovators who advance LGBTQ equality and acceptance through tech and new media. The award is named after the late Ric Weiland, a computer software pioneer and philanthropist known for moving the LGBTQ movement into the digital age. Previous honorees include former US Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, Google, YouTube, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.
Additional honorees and special guests to be announced. To receive the latest updates on GLAAD Gala San Francisco, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadgala.
For a full list of corporate partners and information on how to become a corporate partner, purchase tickets, and place a tribute in the tribute book, please visit glaad.org/sfgala .
GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD onFacebook and Twitter.