New York, NY, May 21, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Making a Difference Award was presented today to Born This Way Foundation in recognition of its work championing positive social change. The nonprofit organization – co-founded by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta – is dedicated to supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world. The Foundation shares ADL’s mission of combating bullying among young people.
The award was presented at the No Place for Hate ceremony in New York City. Children from 85 schools in New York State and northern New Jersey were in attendance to be formally recognized by for their efforts to combat bigotry, bullying and bias.
“Youth for me represent a kinder and braver world because their stories have the ability to change things. It takes just one story to inspire someone to be nicer in class. It takes just one story to inspire someone who wants to give up. It takes just one story to change somebody’s life,” Lady Gaga said in a videotaped greeting, first shown earlier today at the ceremony. “This is such an incredible honor. The No Place For Hate Making A Difference Award is a huge deal for both of us especially because of all of the hard work ADL has been doing to fight anti-Semitism, homophobia, bigotry, intolerance for the past 100 years.”
The uplifting message will be seen by more than one million students involved in ADL’s No Place for Hate® program nationwide. The ceremony was attended by hundreds of students in grades K-12 who were recognized for their actions during the school year and presented with banners that will be displayed prominently in their schools. Similar ceremonies will play out in communities across the country this year as ADL recognizes more than 1,600 schools nationwide for successfully completing the ADL No Place for Hate program. The program builds awareness about the consequences of unchecked hatred and attempts to eradicate bullying, bigotry and stereotyping in schools by empowering young people to stand up.
“Lady Gaga is so much more than a pop artist, so much more than an incredible entertainer. She is a one-of-a-kind inspirational champion for social change and a positive role model for young people,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “This award recognizes her and her mother’s inspirational work and that of the Born This Way Foundation, which is doing so much good by empowering youth to stand up against bullying and hate.”
Gregg M. Mashberg, ADL New York Regional Board Chair, who announced the award to Lady Gaga before the gathering of students, said it was a great tribute to their efforts to have a celebrity like Lady Gaga, also a native New Yorker, praise their participation in ADL’s No Place for Hate.
“Like Lady Gaga, you are all making a difference,” Mr. Mashberg said. “Through your work to confront hate in your schools, you have mirrored her amazing work in an unbelievable way.”
Past recipients of the ADL Making A Difference Award include Kaitlin Monte, former Miss New York, and Charlotte Frank, Senior Vice President of McGraw-Hill.
Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2011 to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world. BTWF achieves this by shining a light on real people, quality research and authentic partnerships. Working with more than 50 non-profit organizations, BTWF has connected more than over 150,000 young people with services and programing in their communities. BTWF has also partnered with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the National Council for Behavioral Health, and the National Association of School Psychologists to collect data from more than 2,500 young people. This research, presented before the American Psychological Association, improved our understanding of young people’s views of mental-health services and delivery methods.