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Mama and Lady Gaga Start 'Born This Way' Foundation

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The Born This Way Foundation tour bus.

THIS WAY, TOWARDS BRAVERY
WHERE YOUTH ARE EMPOWERED.
THIS WAY, TOWARDS ACCEPTANCE
WHERE HUMANITY IS EMBRACED.
THIS WAY, TOWARDS LOVE
WHERE INDIVIDUALITY IS ENCOURAGED.

That’s the mantra on the front page of the Born This Way Foundation website, an organization started by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta. The foundation has wide-ranging goals, including “youth empowering, anti-bullying, mentoring, wellness, digital-learning and advocacy.” Germanotta wrote on The Huffington Post, “Yes, we’ll be focusing a lot of our efforts on anti-bullying in the early stages, but the foundation’s overall mission is ’empowering youth & inspiring bravery.'”

Man, when I was a kid, all we had was band. I’m not gonna lie, I felt pretty empowered while twirling a flag and dancing on the football field.

The foundation launched officially today during a ceremony at Harvard University. Gaga sat down with Oprah Winfrey this afternoon “in front of a group of more than 1,100 students, faculty and invited guests,” CBS reports.

I don’t deny there’s a place in the pantheon of teen advocacy organizations for the Gaga family’s vision of “a kinder and braver world.” Germanotta says, “We’re going to do our best to help youth feel safe and accepted, so that they have the skills to effect change and recognize opportunities in their communities where they can make a difference.” That’s great. I just wonder how they’re going to do it. Right now everything on the site is very vague; there’s a lot of talk about acceptance, bravery and love – which are all great notions – but no calls to action. I know Gaga cares deeply about her fans and is an anti-bullying advocate, but I’m curious about what she plans to do with this platform. I just read this engrossing article on the New Yorker website about Tyler Clementi’s suicide, the role Dahrun Ravi may have played in his death and the circumstances that led to the charges Ravi is currently facing in court. I somehow doubt Gaga’s message of bravery could have prevented Clementi from jumping off the George Washington Bridge, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying, right?

Do you think the Born This Way Foundation can make a difference in your community?

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