Lady Gaga launches Born This Way foundation

In a rare example of a singer putting their money where their lyrics are, Lady Gaga visited Harvard University to launch her Born This Way Foundation. The singer has donated $1.2 million to the foundation, designed to help young people who have adopted her song as an anthem of empowerment.

The singer addressed over 1000 students at the Ivy League institution and asked for their support for her mission. Lady Gaga said that she was bullied as a child and empathises with young people who feel oppressed or overwhelmed. She asked her audience to "challenge meanness and cruelty. I believe that if you have revolutionary potential, you must make the world a better place."

She has some high-profile supporters. Alongside her at Harvard were Oprah Winfrey and Kathleen Sebelius, the US health and human services secretary. The chat-show host expressed her support for the foundation and its ideals of "kindness, compassion, empowerment and acceptance".

Lady Gaga explained that she was inspired to launch the foundation by the correspondence she received from fans after she released the album and song Born This Way. They wished that acceptance and tolerance were more widespread qualities.

She also paid tribute to her mother Cynthia Germanotta, who inspired her to start the foundation and will serve as its president. "She is the sole reason that I am here today," Lady Gaga said. "She has always believed in me. She has always been my support, and she makes me want to inject that sense of family and support into the world."

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