Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Launch of Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation

Good 'ol Gaga
Today at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia launched the Born This Way Foundation. I watching the live stream of the event, which included a panel of Deepak Choprak, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Professor Charles Ogletree (I missed Oprah's remarks but she was there too!).

The BTW's mission is:
"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."
What does this mean in practice? Lady Gaga explained that BTW will do both grassroots advocacy and be an information clearinghouse about how to interrupt bullying in schools. The goal in particular is focusing on how students themselves can stop bullying. At the event she invited experts to contribute information and the foundation will be funding grantees who do innovative/effective work in this area.

If this all sounds a bit vague...it is, and Lady Gaga owned up to it, saying it's akin to when John Lennon and Yoko Ono would say "Give peace a chance!" Reporters would say, "well, what do you mean by that?" and they would respond, "Give peace a chance!" Her goal is to get the idea of making "a braver, kinder world" out there in the ether, and have experts, activists, and students figure out the 'how.'

Look forward to seeing what types of initiatives and grantees the foundation funds!

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