The Born This Way Foundation Youth Advisory Board
LADY GAGA’S BORN THIS WAY FOUNDATION LAUNCHES ITS INAUGURAL YOUTH ADVISORY BOARD
Youth ambassadors of the Foundation convene in LA to help guide policy and strategy
Los Angeles, CA (August 27, 2012) - Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) last week welcomed 24 youth to Los Angeles to participate in its inaugural Youth Advisory Board (YAB) Summit. Social change agents from all over the country aged 17-23 convened at Paramount Pictures for three days of open dialogue led by youth advocate and journalist Anne Collier, and the CEO of Mobilize.org, Maya Enista Smith. During the Summit, youth advisory board members provided honest, constructive feedback on BTWF's upcoming programs and initiatives, helping to guide the Foundation's plan for the coming year.
"The goal of the youth advisory board is to reflect and magnify the strength, determination, creativity, and capacity of our youth, and to have them provide insight on the issues that are most important to them," said BTWF President and Co-Founder Cynthia Germanotta. "It is the ideas, concerns, and aspirations of these youth that will shape our working model. My daughter and I envisioned the Foundation as a youth movement, and through these young leaders, we will learn how to best engage the youth of America in co-creating a kinder, braver world."
"I was really nervous that not knowing anybody, I'd kind of be an outcast," said one YAB member. "But, coming here I've realized that everyone is trying to connect with everyone. It's been amazing so far."
The formation of the YAB is BTWF's latest grassroots effort to hear from America's youth and ensure that their voices are leading the work of the Foundation. Members of the YAB were hand picked after an extensive nomination process led by BTWF and its partners. In the future, the Foundation plans to formalize a process by which interested youth would apply. The YAB is chaired by Anne Collier, Co-Director of ConnectSafely.org, and founder and executive director of its parent organization, Net Family News, Inc.
"We've heard stories in the past few days from the Youth Advisory Board; stories of social activism and about moving forward together with kindness and courage," said Anne Collier. "That's the movement we want to help them grow."
The Summit was made possible through support of Microsoft Corporation, and the Born This Way Foundation's lead media partner, Viacom. The Summit follows the recent unveiling of BTWF's Born Brave Nation (BBN), localized groups of supporters throughout the country dedicated to affecting change in their homes, schools, and local communities. Beginning this fall, YAB members will serve as ambassadors to the BBN, representing the interests and needs of their peers.
To sign up to become a founding member of a BBN in your area, please visit http://bornthiswayfoundation.org/the-born-brave-nation.