Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lady Gaga launches 'BTW' foundation at Harvard

Pop icon Lady Gaga teamed up with talk-show legend Oprah to unleash her youth empowerment campaign--Born This Way Foundation--at a star-studded event 4 p.m. Wednesday, February 29 at Harvard's Sanders Theatre located at 45 Quincy St. in Cambridge.

"My mother and I have initiated a passion project," she says in a press release. "We call it the Born This Way Foundation. 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."

At the event with Oprah, Gaga says the foundation will give youth the tools to "develop the skills needed to be a loving, accepting and tolerant person" and to inject those qualities into the community. "This is a new empowerment foundation. This is about changing the climate," Gaga continues, adding that it's not a anti-bullying campaign, but a youth-empowerment movement. "It's about the bubble effect."

"The culture of love is not going to change overnight but youth are the answer to creating a braver, kinder world," she gushes. "This might be one of the best days of my life."

At the Harvard event, Gaga announced plans for the "Born Brave Bus" which will travel across the country following her tour bus and serve as a place where youth can go to feel connected.

Cynthia Germonatta, Gaga's mother, will serve as president of the foundation. The mother-daughter team is working with Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society as well as the MacAuthur Foundation and the California Endowment To Empower Youth to carry out the initiative.

Germonatta sent out emails one hour before the event was streamed, albeit with a few technical glitches, at 4 p.m. "I'm here at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre with my daughter, Lady Gaga, and Oprah," Germonatta writes. "We're getting ready to take the stage to officially unveil the Born This Way Foundation."

Meanwhile, a small group of Harvard students and faculty (see photos) called "Their Day in the Yard" protested outside of the event demanding that the seven students from the 1920s who were expelled from the ivy league on suspicion of being gay should get their degrees posthumously.

Click here for the lowdown on Gaga's Born This Way Foundation.--Photos courtesy Ryan Miner, Beantown Photo

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