Lady Gaga Launches ‘Born This Way’ Anti-Bullying Foundation
You’ve got to hand it to Lady Gaga. When she first heard that one of her biggest fans – a 14-year-old boy named Jamey Rodemeyer – had committed suicide after being bullied, she decided right then and there to meet with President Obama and to push for an anti-bullying law in the teenager’s name (Rodemeyer, for the record, was openly gay). “[Bullying] must become illegal,” she tweeted at the time to her 15 million followers. “It is a hate crime.”
Less than two months after Rodemeyer’s tragic death, the Grammy Award-winning singer and her mom Cynthia Germanotta have launched Born This Way, an anti-bullying foundation that shares a name with Gaga’s hit single. The not-for-profit will focus on “youth empowerment and equality by addressing issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development,” according to a statement.
“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,” she said in the statement. Partners include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The California Endowment and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
The official foundation launch will be next year, according to the website, and an advisory board will be announced soon.
Already some people have pointed out that the name of the foundation is rather self-promotional, and that Gaga’s efforts would be better spent supporting a preexisting anti-bullying organization. But I disagree. Love her or hate her, Lady Gaga is one of the most powerful players in the industry right now. The fact that she’s sending out such a powerful message is huge – and I commend her for it.