Lady Gaga is leading the charge in empowering young people to be confident and believe in themselves.
Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, founded the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) last year but the official launch was this week. The goal of the organization to foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a braver, kinder world. It includes a specific focus on stopping meanness and cruelty, especially online.
And the foundation is already receiving overwhelming support. Lady Gaga officially kicked off BTWF at a conference on youth meanness and cruelty organized by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and supported by MacArthur and the California Endowment, attended by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and E! News correspondent and LGBT parent and spouse David Burtka. Lady Gaga has made a $1.2 million personal contribution to BTWF, dedicating $200,000 to cover the foundation’s overhead costs.
“The culture of love is not going to change overnight but youth are the answer to creating a braver, kinder world,” said Lady Gaga. “This might be one of the best days of my life.”
The MacArthur Foundation has donated a $500,000 grant to BTWF to support online and on-the-road efforts to engage young people in civic life and deter bullying.
“MacArthur’s partnership with the Born This Way Foundation will apply what we have learned about the power and potential of digital media to reach and engage millions of young people,” said Connie Yowell, MacArthur’s Director of Education. “In classrooms and communities, online and even on-the-road, this effort will enable teachers, parents, students, and communities each do their part to promote positive civic and online participation.”
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