Pop icon stands before distinguished panel including Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Alyssa Rodemeyer, Professor Charles Ogletree, Dr. Susan M. Swearer and David Burtka
Lady Gaga and MacArthur Foundation pledge millions to help empower youth and inspire bravery “online, on-the-road and down the street”
Today at Harvard University, Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, officially unveiled Born This Way Foundation (BTWF), a new non-profit charitable organization, before a crowd of policy makers, non-profit organizations, foundation leaders, students and youth at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Askwith Forum.
The day opened with Oprah interviewing Lady Gaga about her commitment to empowering youth before a packed audience at Sanders Theatre. Lady Gaga then took the stand in a mock trial to testify before a panel of expert “judges” about what she hopes to accomplish with BTWF. Panelists included Deepak Chopra, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, sister of Jamey Rodemeyer Alyssa Rodemeyer, Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree, Psychologist Susan M. Swearer and E! News correspondent and LGBT parent and spouse David Burtka.
BTWF will address issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development through research, education and advocacy. BTWF will create an environment that allows youth to safely express their individuality and one that provides them with the skills needed to encourage self-expression and promote civic engagement, and the resources and opportunities needed to implement solutions whether it be “online, on-the-road, or down the street.” With a focus on digital mobilization to create positive change, BTWF will lead youth into a braver new society where each individual is accepted and loved as the person they were born to be.