Pop diva Lady Gaga launched her new foundation aimed at empowering young people on Wednesday at Harvard University.
Accompanied by some powerful friends – Oprah Winfrey, spiritual leader Deepak Chopra, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius – they kicked off the Born This Way Foundation that Gaga’s mother, Cynthia Germanotta, will help steer.
Gaga spoke to more than 1,100 students from several states, faculty and invited guests at Harvard, urging the young audience to “… challenge meanness and cruelty.”
“I believe that if you have revolutionary potential, you must make the world a better place and use it,” she said. She reminded them that there is no law to make people be kind to one another and added: “I wish there was because, you know, I’d be chained naked to a fence somewhere trying to pass it.“
The singer has made a $1.2 million personal contribution to the foundation, named after her 2011 album and hit song – Born This Way – which promotes self-empowerment and has become an anthem for gay pride.
Gaga, who has said she was the victim of bullying as a teenager, said the idea for the foundation grew out of the dialogue created after Born This Way was released. She said she received an onslaught of letters and emails from people who said such things as, “I want there to be more tolerance in the universe. I want there to be more acceptance.“
She said the foundation is working with a new media agency to create a social media environment that fosters the foundation’s goals.
She said the “Born Brave Bus” will follow her tour bus around the country and will “welcome anyone from any walk of life” to “talk about love, acceptance, kindness” and other goals of the foundation.
“I want this to be an organisation where you all feel involved,” she said.
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