Lady Gaga, Born This Way Foundation Launch 21 Days Of Kindness Campaign
[Sept. 2, 2020: Andrea Bossi]
Lady Gaga and her mother’s Born This Way Foundation hosts an annual 21-day campaign, #BeKind21, that seeks to bring kindness to the forefront of conversations and actions. This year’s campaign has an urgency unlike ever before.
“At this moment, young people are facing some unprecedented obstacles that are taking a toll on their mental health,” Cynthia Germanotta, Lady Gaga’s mother, said in an emailed statement. Over the next 21 days, she wants more young people “convinced of the importance of their own kindness and how essential each and every one of them are, to me and to our world.”
In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on mental health, substance use and suicidal ideation during COVID-19 that revealed grim numbers.
Not only did 40% of U.S. adults report struggling with mental health or substance abuse in June, but one in four people between the ages of 18 and 24 reported strongly considering suicide, according to the CDC.
“We think of kindness as an action in service to someone else without the expectation of anything in return,” Born This Way Foundation executive director Maya Smith said.
“To live in a time where there is uncertainty and fear and the social disparities of health and the hopeful dismantling of systemic racism and all of the important and difficult movements happening,” Smith said, “grounding ourselves in the fact that we're acting in service to someone else and helping to ensure someone else's survival is just what I hope for.”
This year, Born This Way Foundation has over 165 partners that are committed to being more kind via 21 days of actionable items. “It's a campaign built on the science that if you do something for 21 days in a row, it becomes a habit,” Smith said.
From Lyft to the National Alliance on Mental Illness to Chipotle, each partner creates their own kindness calendar that may include actions like writing a letter to a loved one or being kind to yourself with a nice nap.
“Throughout history, dignity and kindness have been withheld from those most unheard, especially Black women,” founder and CEO of Black Girls Vote, a #BeKind21 partner, Nykidra Robinson said in a press release. “Black Girls Vote understands the power of kindness, and we strive to exemplify this value through our commitment to education, women empowerment, and civic engagement.”
While leading #BeKind21, Smith said she feels a personally urgent need for kindness like never before and has also seen the power of kindness change as times become more dire.
“The difference the margins that we create for each other with acts of kindness—helping to ensure that we collectively survive and thrive—are just so urgent,” she said.
Lady Gaga and her mother created Born This Way Foundation in 2012 in hopes of building a kinder and braver world. The foundation prides itself on three pillars: making kindness cool, validating the emotions of youth around the world and eliminating the stigma around mental health.
The message of being strong through personal struggles was not lost in Lady Gaga’s recent MTV Video Music Awards performance nor in her acceptance speeches for winning Artist of the Year, Best Song and Best Collaboration for "Rain on Me" with Ariana Grande.
This Brighter Side of News post courtesy of Forbes at www.forbes.com.
Like these kind of stories? Get The Brighter Side of News' newsletter.