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Lady Gaga launches ‘Born this Way’ youth empowerment foundation

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Cultural singing icon, Lady Gaga, née Stefani Germanotta, along with her mother Cynthia Germanotta and media magnate Oprah Winfrey officially launched the pop diva’s “Born this Way” foundation Wednesday on the campus of Harvard University.

Gaga was also joined by U. S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, author Deepak Chopra, and Alyssa Rodemeyer, the sister of Buffalo, N.Y. teen Jamey Rodemeyer, who took his life after being bullied for being gay.

The “Born this Way” bus on the campus of Harvard University on Wednesday.

In her speech before an audience of Harvard University students and invited guests, Gaga said, “If you have revolutionary potential, you must make the world a better place and use it.”

The Born this Way Foundation, named after her 2011 hit album and single, aims to raise public consciousness about the need for support and acceptance of everyone — “a youth empowerment foundation … about transformative change in culture over time,” Gaga said.

Her mother will serve as its president.

Earlier, during a panel session on bullying prevention, the singer told participants, “I want it to be part of the natural fabric of schooling, so that someone knows that it is not OK to be intolerant of your children, it is not OK to be unaccepted, it is not OK to be violent because you don’t understand. If you teach your kids to love everyone, hopefully that will, over time, branch out.”

The foundation is expected to include specific outreach to LGBTQ youth — the singer’s chart topping single, “Born This Way” has quickly become an unofficial anthem for the LGBTQ community.

The three pillars of her foundation are to promote “safety, skills and opportunities” for young people, Gaga said.

“Once you feel safe in your environment and you acquire the skills to be a loving, accepting, tolerant person, the opportunities are endless to be a functioning human in society.”

As of Wednesday’s launch, there are no official events announced, but the singer said some very specific “programs” will be rolled out in the coming weeks. The website is already active and running online and the foundation’s mobile advocacy resource, the Born Brave Bus is scheduled to follow along on the singer’s “Born This Way Ball” musical tour for the North American portion.

During a press event for the kick-off of the foundation Wednesday, Winfrey told reporters she had joined forces with Gaga’s foundation because it shared some of her core beliefs, including kindness, compassion and care for others, reported Reuters.

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