Grammy-award winning artist and cultural icon Lady Gaga (who we recently interviewed) proudly announced today the launch of the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF), which will support programs and initiatives that deal with all aspects of empowering youth. who we recently interviewed) proudly announced today the launch of the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF), which will support programs and initiatives that deal with all aspects of empowering youth. The non-profit charitable organization will lead youth into a braver new society where each individual is accepted and loved as the person they were born to be. BTWF will focus on youth empowerment and equality by addressing issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development and will utilize digital mobilization as one of the means to create positive change.
“My mother and I have initiated a passion project. We call it the Born This Way Foundation. Together we hope to establish a standard of Bravery and Kindness, as well as a community worldwide that protects and nurtures others in the face of bullying and abandonment,” said Lady Gaga.
Led and directed by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, BTWF will partner with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The California Endowment, which are both ranked among the top foundations in the country and focus on unique aspects of youth empowerment. The foundation will also partner with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, one of the most cutting edge institutions in the country focusing on the power of the internet as a means to promote change. An advisory board will also be appointed and announced soon.
“Speaking not only as a foundation leader, but also as a pediatrician, we are thrilled to serve as a strategic partner in Lady Gaga’s philanthropic commitment on behalf of young people,” said Dr. Bob Ross, CEO and President of The California Endowment. “Lady Gaga will help empower and give voice to young people who find themselves overwhelmed, under-supported, disconnected, isolated, bullied, or struggling….this brand of leadership is sorely needed in today’s world.”
“This is a time of potential transformation in how young people learn, socialize, and engage in civic life because of digital media,” said Connie Yowell, PhD, Director of Education for the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. “With new tools come new responsibility and sometimes painful unintended consequences such as bullying and challenges to safety. Lady Gaga is at the forefront of harnessing the power of digital media for her fans and encouraging them to be healthy and safe and to make meaningful change in the world. We look forward to working with her and the Born This Way Foundation as a strategic partner.”
“It seems Hollywood launches foundations all the time, but I can’t recall an artist of Lady Gaga’s reach or caliber who has done the months of due-diligence and behind-the-scenes meetings with the experts before they’ve launched such a foundation,” said John Palfrey, Harvard Law Professor and Co-Director of Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. “If this dedication and thoroughness is any indication of what is to come when this program launches, the Born This Way Foundation has the potential to transform the foundation community the same way Lady Gaga is transforming the music industry.”
Additional details concerning the Born This Way Foundation will be announced shortly and the official launch will take place in 2012. Please visit http://www.BornThisWayFoundation.org to take the pledge and become part of the movement.