Right on the heels of her Barney’s Workshop launch, Grammy-award winning artist and cultural icon Lady Gaga has introduced the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF). Named after her second album and its title track, the new non-profit charitable organization will support programs and initiatives that deal with youth empowerment. BTWF will address issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development by utilizing digital means such as social media to create positive change.
Gaga, who has continually been an advocate for equality in all arenas, vowed to end bullying after the death of one of her Little Monsters, 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, who committed suicide after what his parents claimed was years of bullying because of his sexuality.
The foundation will be front-lined by the singer herself and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta.
“My mother and I have initiated a passion project. 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,” said Lady Gaga in a statement.
The popstar’s partners include youth empowerment organizations John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The California Endowment, and the cutting-edge Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
“This is a time of potential transformation in how young people learn, socialize and engage in civic life because of digital media,” said Connie Yowell, Ph.D., Director of Education for the John D.& Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that works to support creative people and effective institutions. “With new tools come new responsibility and sometimes painful unintended consequences such as bullying and challenges to safety,” Yowell said.
The official launch will take place in 2012. For now, Little Monsters can take the pledge at BornThisWayFoundation.com and shop Gaga’s Holiday Workshop online at Barneys.com and in-store at Barneys New York at Scottsdale Fashion Square to benefit the Born This Way Foundation.