Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation has just announced that it will launch the Born Brave Bus Tour, which is set to join the Lady herself on the road for the U.S. leg of her Born This Way Ball tour. The pre-concert "tailgate," as it is being called, is expected to provide a space for young people aged 13-25 to "gather and celebrate their individuality in a safe arena where everyone is encouraged to be the person they were born to be," according to a press release from the foundation.
In addition to the above, the Born Brave Bus Tour will encourage youth to get more deeply involved in the Born This Way Foundation movement while also connecting them with local resources in their communities in an effort to inspire bravery and promote self-acceptance. Guests will join like-minded peers as they enjoy food, music by Lady Starlight and an array of interactive activities.
For the tour, BTWF has joined forces with several distinguished frontline partners at a national and local level, including Campus Pride, GLSEN, Hive & YOUMedia, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Council for Behavioral Health, MENTOR, Mentoring USA, The Trevor Project and YSA (Youth Service America). Each organization is expected to have an on-site presence, offering visitors access to resources available in their communities including behavioral and mental health services, school psychologists, mentoring, volunteer opportunities and bullying and suicide prevention resources. Guests to the Born Brave Bus will also have the opportunity to learn new digital media skills and to participate in research supported by BTWF.
"Now more than ever, our kids need access to support within their communities, including mental health services," said Cynthia Germanotta, BTWF president and co-founder. "By connecting youth to these local resources, we hope to plant the seeds that will help them deal with today's challenges and inspire them to continue exercising their strength and bravery well after the Born Brave Bus leaves town. We are incredibly grateful to our partners for helping to make the Born Brave Bus Tour a reality. To have this many reputable, national organizations come together at a local level is revolutionary."
With Viacom as its lead media partner, the foundation has also partnered with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The California Endowment and The Berkman Center at Harvard to explore the best ways to reach youth and create a new culture of kindness, bravery, acceptance and empowerment.
Philippe Dauman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom, said, "We are proud to stand among the worthy organizations that have come together for the Born Brave Bus Tour. In the spirit of Viacommunity, we are engaging our partners to connect with youth where they live, through on-the-ground activities to deepen our collective impact."
The first stop of the Born Brave Bus Tour will be January 14th in Tacoma, Washington. For additional U.S. tour dates, visit ladygaga.com/bornthiswayball. Before and after the bus's arrival, head to the BTWF website for area-specific updates, and later this month, youth will be able to pre-register for the Born Brave Bus experience in their area online at bornthiswayfoundation.org.
To donate to the BTWF movement, visit bornthiswayfoundation.org.