HRC Blog

Lady Gaga Launches Born This Way Foundation at Harvard Campus Event

The following post comes from HRC Digital Media Intern Eric Cameron:

Today marks the official launch of the Born This Way Foundation, a nonprofit venture by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, aimed at empowering young people and combating bullying.

Named after Gaga’s smash-hit song, the foundation is dedicated to “creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a braver, kinder world.”

Gaga and her mother kick off the project this afternoon with a rally at Harvard University. Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra are expected to attend. The “Born Brave Bus” will debut at the event as well and will continue touring the country in weeks to come, serving as a “place where youth can go to feel connected and learn about civic engagement opportunities.”

Some Harvard students are planning their own rally to coincide with Gaga’s visit, demanding that Harvard give posthumous degrees to seven students expelled in 1920 because they were perceived to be gay. News of the so-called “secret court” – which investigated suspected homosexuality at the university – only became public in 2002.

As of this morning, the university has no plans to award the posthumous degrees.

Regardless of whether Harvard chooses to recognize the LGBT students expelled via the secret court, Gaga and Germanotta are keeping their eyes focused on creating a brighter future for LGBT youth and all of Gaga’s “little monsters.” The Born This Way Foundation is formed in partnership with Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the MacArthur Foundation and the California Endowment to Empower Youth.

Photo © B. Proud / HRC

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