The GLSEN Respect Awards showcase the work of students, educators, and community leaders who work to advocate for LGBTQ youth

By Lindsay Kimble
September 06, 2017 12:00 PM
Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Zendaya will be recognized for her advocacy and activism at next month’s Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network Respect Awards, PEOPLE can exclusively reveal.

The 21-year-old actress and singer will receive the Gamechanger Award at the 2017 Los Angeles ceremony, in honor of her push for equality and change – most recently seen at the Teen Choice Awards in August, when she pleaded for others to use their voices for good.

“GLSEN is honored to recognize Zendaya with the Gamechanger Award for her commitment to social justice,” Eliza Byard, executive director of GLSEN, said in a statement. “This award was created to spotlight the next generation of leaders, and Zendaya, unafraid to raise her voice on a host of issues affecting LGBTQ students and other marginalized communities, clearly exemplifies that leadership.”

The annual awards showcase the work of students, educators and community leaders who work to advocate for LGBTQ youth. Other 2017 honorees include Scandal star Kerry Washington, and Bruce Bozzi.

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Previous honorees have included Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, as well as Kate Hudson.

The 2017 GLSEN Respect Awards will be held on Oct. 20.