Grammy-award winning artist and cultural icon Lady Gaga on Wednesday announced the launch of the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF), an organization to support programs and initiatives that deal with all aspects of empowering youth.
The foundation, a non-profit charitable organization, will focus on youth empowerment and equality by addressing issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development, according to a media release.
“My mother and I have initiated a passion project. We call it the Born This Way Foundation,” said Lady Gaga, in a statement.
“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.”
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.
Gaga has worked recently to call attention to bullying. In September, Gaga met with President Barack Obama at a fundraiser to talk about the increase in bullying, particularly aimed at LGBT youth following the suicide of 14-year-old gay teen, Jamey Rodemeyer, who endured years of bullying.
“Bullying must become be illegal. It is a hate crime,” Gaga tweeted in September, along with Jamey’s “It Gets Better” video.
“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,” Ross said.
The official launch of the foundation will take place in 2012.