Lady GaGa Launches Born This Way Foundation
Originally Posted BostonHerald.com – By Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa with Megan Johnson / Inside Track
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Lady Gaga brought her message of “bravery, acceptance and love” to Harvard University yesterday, launching her Born This Way Foundation, a grassroots effort to get kids to say no to bullying.
“I’m not here today to give you an answer. This is about transformative change,” Mother Monster told a crowd of several hundred mostly students at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre. “This is about changing the climate of the school environment and not putting the power in the hands of the teachers or the government. … I don’t believe they have the answers. I believe that you do.”
Gaga launched the effort with the help of a star-studded panel that included the Queen of All Media Oprah Winfrey, spiritual guru Deepak Chopra, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree, psychologist Susan M. Sweare, actor and gay parent David Burtka, best known as Neil Patrick Harris’ spouse, and student leader Alyssa Rodemeyer, whose 14-year-old brother, Jamey, committed suicide after being bullied.
“This may be one of the best days of my life,” Gaga said as she took her seat next to Oprah wearing a black sleeveless, backless, full-length dress by North Shore designer Sally LaPointe, along with see-through gloves, her trademark huge platform shoes and one of her signature netted headdresses.
Winfrey said Gaga’s foundation reminded her of the early days of the anti-smoking movement or Mothers Against Drunk Driving because the singer is “breaking the form … changing consciousness” on the issue of bullying.
“What she is creating is not just a foundation, but a movement,” the chat show titan said. “It’s a shift in the way people think about bullying.”
Gaga introduced her new Born To Be Brave bus, which will be following her around the country as she tours. She hopes it will become a place where her fans can get together and brainstorm about ways to stop violence.
“It will welcome anyone from any walk of life … to come and hang out and talk about love, acceptance or kindness,” she said. “And the best thing about it is it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be, essentially, a tailgate.”
The pop superstar, who launched the effort alongside her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, said she believes answers will come from kids who “eat hamburgers and talk about it outside my shows” and that she’ll use her celebrity — and her 19.7 million Twitter followers — to help pull it off.
“If I could make a song called ‘Just Dance’ big all over the world then I might be able to make a song that says ‘Just Be Nice.’ ”
Later, Lady Gaga, her mom, Op, and other guests were invited to celebrate the Born This Way Foundation’s launch in an adult way — with wine and cocktails — at Noir at the Charles Hotel. But the weather forced the celebrity gang to flee after the event.