Lady Gaga revealed her Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) today at Harvard University. Her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, accompanied her as she announced the non-profit charitable foundation to students, youth, policy makers and a panel of noteworthy guests.

Oprah Winfrey interviewed Gaga in the Sanders Theatre and Gaga took the stand as if she were participating in a mock trial. She testified about her plans for the foundation in front of Deepak Chopra, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Alyssa Rodemeyer, Professor Charles Ogletree, Dr. Susan M. Swearer and David Burtka.

BTWF aims to create a welcoming environment for youth and address issues such as  low self-confidence and bullying. It hopes to give youth the resources needed to be comfortable with their individuality. The foundation will also provide mentoring and career development and give youth the tools needed to implement change.

Lady Gaga has contributed $1.2 million to the organization. Barneys New York and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation have also made sizable contributions to BTWF. MacArthur, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and The California Endowment will each assist with BTWF’s research efforts.

The Born Brave Bus will give youth additional opportunities  to get involved with BTWF.  The bus will drive across the country and act as a place for youth to feel connected and learn about civic engagement opportunities. The Born Brave Bus, along with onsite mentors, will also travel with Lady Gaga’s next US concert tour.

About The Author

Miya Williams is a Blast Magazine editor-at-large

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