Lady Gaga launches youth empowerment foundation

Wed Nov 2, 2011 9:37pm EDT

Lady Gaga waves during a news conference in New Delhi October 28, 2011. Lady Gaga is on a visit to India this weekend, where she will be part of the star-studded unveiling of the country's first Formula 1 race. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma

Lady Gaga waves during a news conference in New Delhi October 28, 2011. Lady Gaga is on a visit to India this weekend, where she will be part of the star-studded unveiling of the country's first Formula 1 race.

Credit: Reuters/Parivartan Sharma

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(Reuters) - Lady Gaga on Wednesday launched the Born This Way Foundation to support programs dealing with youth empowerment and help people facing bullying and abandonment.

The foundation, named after the Grammy-winning singer's hit album and single of the same name, was launched by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta.

"My mother and I have initiated a passion project," the singer said in a statement. "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."

It follows on the singer's interests in supporting gay rights and being outspoken on issues affecting youth.

The Born This Way Foundation will be work closely with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The California Endowment, both focusing on youth empowerment.

The Foundation will also work with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, which focuses on the power of the Internet as a means to promote change. The singer has harnessed the power of the Internet to attract more than 44 million fans on Facebook and 15 million followers on Twitter.

(Reporting and Writing by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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