The Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) has announced it will launch the Born Brave Bus Tour, which will join Lady Gaga on the road for the U.S. leg of her Born This Way Ball tour. The pre-concert “tailgate” will provide a space for young people, ages 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.
The Born Brave Bus Tour will allow 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 fun, 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 will 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.
Connie Yowell , MacArthur’s Director of Education, said, “MacArthur’s support for the Born This Way Foundation will help create opportunities for more youth to engage in learning that is relevant to their lives and prepares them for success in school, the workplace, and their communities. But for this to happen, teens must first feel safe and have access to information and resources to provide for their health and well-being, and the Born Brave Bus Tour will seed opportunities to do so across the country.”
“The Born Brave Bus is highlighting the importance of youth service organizations around the country for a celebration of bravery and self-acceptance,” said Dr. Bob Ross , CEO and President of The California Endowment. “Add in a tailgate with music and food to make it cool, Lady Gaga is redefining bravery to mean it’s okay to have fun but also seek out services for anything from behavioral health challenges to safety issues in a youth person’s local community.”
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 14 in Tacoma, Washington. For additional U.S. tour dates click here. Before and after the bus’ 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 here.
To donate to the BTWF movement, click here. Donations will go toward empowering young people, and addressing the issues of self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development.
Source: National Council for Behavioral Health