Lady Gaga and Harvard University to combat youth bullying

6 Mar 2012

Pop star Lady Gaga

Pop star Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation is teaming up with Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society to further academic research into both cyber bullying and real-life bullying amongst youths, and to ultimately empower a kinder and more accepting youth culture.

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society has just revealed the The Kinder & Braver World Project: Research Series, as part of its collaboration with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation (BTWF).

Via the Foundation, the pop singer is aiming to empower youths to be kinder to each other in their communities, as well as tackling the problem of bullying in schools via social media.

Just last Wednesday, Lady Gaga herself visited Harvard’s Cambridge campus in Boston to officially launch the BTWF, which she founded in 2011 with her mother Cynthia Germanotta.

Lady Gaga took to the stage at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre to launch the Foundation. Her audience included the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Kathleen Sebelius the U. S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Deepak Chopra.

The visit of the pop singer also naturally caused quite a bit of a stir amongst students, with many waiting outside Harvard’s Memorial Hall to catch a glimpse of Gaga.

“The culture of love is not going to change overnight but youth are the answer to creating a braver, kinder world,” said Lady Gaga last Wednesday at Harvard.” This might be one of the best days of my life,” she added, as reported by the Berkman Center at the time.

‘Born Brave’ bus

Lady Gaga had arrived in Cambridge on her ‘Born Brave’ bus, which she said she would be using to promote her anti-bullying movement.

Her Foundation will be tackling issues such as self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development via both research and education.

As well as Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The California Endowment and are partnering with BTWF to empower youths to be kinder to each other.

The singer said she is aspiring to foster a more accepting society that inspires bravery, where youths celebrate diversity and individuality.
The Foundation will be aiming to provide a supportive online community where people can celebrate their individuality and learn more about bulling and how to combat it. As well as this the Foundation will be working at the grass-roots level to teach people about bullying.

Poster contest

BTWF has also launched a poster contest and is inviting artists, painters, and designers to come up with a creative visual representation for it.

Lady Gaga has made a US$1.2m personal contribution to BTWF, dedicating US$200,000 to cover the foundation’s overhead costs.

“Like everything my daughter has done, this is a grass roots initiative asking for the response of the community to help build this movement and shape it, said Cynthia Germanotta last week, as reported by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic