By Kate Space
SC Staff Writer
Lady Gaga unveiled her newest project on Wednesday, February 29th with the launch of the Born This Way Foundation at Harvard University. The organization, led by Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, was founded in 2011 to “support a more accepting society where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated.”
Oprah Winfrey, Kathleen Sebelius of Health and Human Services, and author Deepak Chopra were also in attendance at the foundation’s launch, where Lady Gaga spoke to students, administrators, and other guests about the issues of bullying and the impact it is having on today’s youth. Gaga urged the young audience to be advocates for acceptance and fight against cruelty.
In September of 2011, Gaga expressed her sadness and outrage after 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer committed suicide following bullying and harassment from classmates because he was bi-sexual. Gaga tweeted about the ordeal, vowing to change the way society treats people of differing sexualities and beliefs. Named after her hit song, “Born This Way,” Lady Gaga and her mother created the foundation to support a community of young people that is more informed, more involved, and more unified. The song, which has become an anthem for gay pride, promotes individuality and self-love—and the organization is no different. “By empowering and inspiring young people to promote bravery, tolerance, and acceptance,” the foundation’s website explains, “we can change the way people view those who are different from them.”
The Born This Way Foundation’s website features a scrolling wall of support, made up of pictures of the foundation’s fans and followers. Supporters of the movement are encouraged to upload their photo to the site as well as share thoughts, experiences, and stories of tolerance and acceptance with others to foster an environment where people can feel open to explore their individuality and support others to do the same. The foundation relies heavily on technology and social media, asking supporters to educate others about the cause via Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail. For more information about the Born This Way Foundation, to sign a pledge, or to upload your photo to the supporter wall, visit www.bornthiswayfoundation.org.