LADY GAGA’S BORN THIS WAY FOUNDATION LAUNCHES LARGEST “#BeKind21” CAMPAIGN TO DATE
More than 400 nonprofit organizations, businesses, school districts, and communities team up for the annual challenge that encourages kindness to ourselves and others around the world throughout 21 days in September
NEW YORK — September 1, 2021 – Today, Born This Way Foundation, co-founded by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, announced the launch of its #BeKind21 campaign in collaboration with Oreo, GivingTuesday, Chicago Public Schools, Indeed, The city of Las Vegas, The City of San Diego, District of Columbia Government, Deloitte, DonorsChoose, Brightline, Conagra Brands, VolunteerMatch, Black Girls Vote, and hundreds more. #BeKind21 is a movement that calls on the public to practice an act of kindness each day from September 1st to September 21st to build kinder, more connected communities.
Born This Way Foundation believes there is an inextricable link between kindness and mental wellness. Earlier this spring, the Foundation conducted a survey of 2,008 13-24 year olds that revealed the undeniable ways kindness contributes to many aspects of mental wellness, from helping young people feel safe, confident, and less alone to changing the trajectory of their day and even their desire to stay alive. This year’s campaign has been purposefully designed to meet the needs of the present day and promote kindness in global environments heading into the fall season, including schools, classrooms, workplaces, homes, the public sector and beyond.
“We know the transformative impact kindness has on every aspect of our lives. This September, as we continue to wrestle with the overlapping and ongoing crises in our world, it’s imperative we focus on eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health and prioritizing kindness toward ourselves and others,” said Cynthia Germanotta, President and Co-Founder of Born This Way Foundation. “Quantitatively and anecdotally, we’ve learned from young people they believe experiencing, and even witnessing, more kindness in the world would help to improve their mental health. Young people know kindness is the way forward to a kinder and braver world that supports our collective wellness. We are proud of all our #BeKind21 movement does to make their hope – and our collective hope – a reality.”
Those who take the pledge will join Born This Way Foundation’s community, receive access to kindness calendars, tips, and inspiration from the Foundation’s co-founders and partners, and have the opportunity to be featured on the Foundation’s youth storytelling platform ChannelKindness.org. Germanotta added, “Kindness can be supporting your neighbor, buying someone in front of you a coffee, wearing a mask, introducing yourself with your pronouns, taking a day of rest, and so much more. We hope to inspire and support everyone who is working to lift themselves and each other up in what can feel like a heavy world. I am proud of all of us.”
Born This Way Foundation is partnering with a diverse coalition of schools, organizations, and entire communities to promote kindness and bring this important initiative to fruition, including:
- Active Minds
- Ali Forney Center
- The Ally Coalition
- Artemis Agency
- Blanket Tampa Bay
- BLKBX Project
- Chicago Public Schools
- The city of Las Vegas
- Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail
- The Defensive Line
- Dallas Independent School District
- Do Big Things
- Duncan Hines
- Exploring the Arts
- Eye to Eye
- Find Your Anchor
- Galison Puzzles
- Girls Inc.
- Hanson Bridgett
- Haus Laboratories Makeup by Lady Gaga
- Just the Way You Are coalition
- Kate Spade New York
- Khloe Kares
- Macmillan Publishing
- Major League Hacking
- MGM Resorts International
- Michael Phelps Foundation
- The Mighty
- Mighty Kind (Magazine for Kids)
- NAMI Southern Nevada
- National Council for Mental Wellbeing
- Pencils of Promise
- Sarah Flint
- SYBO Games
- Tri-Valley Haven
- Under Armour
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
- Well Being Trust
- Youth Service America
- Zynga/Words With Friends
“The city of Las Vegas is honored to continue our partnership with Born This Way Foundation. We have seen the toll this pandemic has taken on the health of our community members and hope this initiative will remind everyone to take the necessary moments for their mental and physical health. It is our hope #BeKind21 sparks acts of kindness within individuals that then ripples through our community. As we continue to navigate this pandemic, kindness is vital,” said Dr. Tammy Malich, Director of The city of Las Vegas.
“We are incredibly grateful that Born This Way Foundation partnered with Chicago Public Schools for our first ever Civil Rights Summer Fellowship. Watching our students explore what kindness means to them and then having this translate to the development of a CPS #BeKind21 Calendar and educational materials that will be used across the district reminded us of how crucial student leadership is. This fall we will be fully reopen for the first time since the beginning of Covid, and we can’t wait to welcome our students back with #BeKind21!,” said Madeline Meyer and Michael Roy, Office of Student Protections and Title IX for Chicago Public Schools.
“POPSUGAR is honored to join #BeKind21 following an unprecedented time of uncertainty and isolation to help spread the message that kindness can meaningfully improve mental health. #BeKind21’s mission aligns with POPSUGAR’s work to inspire strength, confidence, and community and to leverage our platform as a publisher for impactful conversations and connection,” said Angelica Marden, President, POPSUGAR.
“Duncan Hines is all about creating sweet moments every day and supporting kindness, inclusivity, and love. We are thrilled to be part of Born This Way Foundation’s #BeKind21 efforts this year as baking is an easy action you can take to show someone you care,” said Audrey Ingersoll, Brand Director, Duncan Hines.
“What does kindness look like when you live with a health condition or a disability? In our Mighty community, it looks like validation, encouragement and meeting people where they are at. We’re so thrilled to bring our people-powered health mission to this year’s #BeKind21 campaign. Our world needs it more than ever,” said Kat Harrison, Community Content Manager at The Mighty.
“At Pencils of Promise (PoP), our mission is to help provide equitable access to education in communities across the globe. In many areas of the world, a child’s potential can be cut short due to limited resources. At PoP, we believe your outcome is not defined by your circumstances. To help lift the barriers to education for many, PoP builds schools and helps create encouraging learning environments that emphasize literacy, wellness, self-discovery, and kindness so young people can achieve their dreams. We are proud to join the #BeKind21 campaign and share acts of kindness to support educational access and opportunities for all,” said Kailee Scales, CEO, Pencils of Promise.
“Seemingly small acts of kindness and compassion have a profound impact on our world. When we commit to thinking, ‘What good can I do today?’ we begin to recognize how we are inextricably connected to others, and them to us. When we give our gift of kindness, we’re expressing our shared humanity and that’s a powerful force for good,” said Asha Curran, CEO, GivingTuesday.
“SYBO Games has long advocated for inclusivity and kindness, and we are thrilled to partner with Born This Way Foundation to further its mission. Timed to this year’s initiative, we included a call to action within the latest Subway Surfers world tour stop in Las Vegas, asking players to sign the #BeKind21 pledge and spread kindness. In addition, a new character named Cleo joins the SubSurf crew; she is dedicated to spreading kindness and bravery,” said Naz Amarchi-Cuevas, Chief Commercial Officer, SYBO Games.
“Yousician is thrilled to be a part of the #BeKind21 community. We believe music is an act of kindness and Yousician exists to guide everyone on their unique musical journey. Playing music is good for us. It brings people together, entertains, and inspires. The more people that play it, the better this world will be,” said Hadley Spanier, Head of Brand Marketing + Artist Partnerships, Yousician.
“BLKBX Project is honored to take part in Born This Way Foundation’s #BeKind21 campaign. Today, youth are under so much pressure as they navigate their identities, schoolwork, relationships, and the uncertainty of their future. With so much on their plates, no kids should have to worry about being bullied or treated unkindly. BLKBX Project is thrilled to take this time to encourage everyone to spread kindness to everyone they encounter,” said Team BLKBX Project.
“The story of our number doesn’t define us. It is the start to understanding our past and writing our future. We are thrilled to be part of #BeKind21 and encourage everyone in this movement to learn more about childhood adversity, hope, and resilience at NumberStory.org.”
“Eye to Eye’s mission to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of students who learn differently is only possible with values rooted in kindness, acceptance, and awareness. This is why Eye to Eye is proud to join #BeKind21, where these values are shared and amplified by millions. We are excited to share this campaign with our students, educators, employees, and supporters. Together, we can build a kinder world,” said David Flink, Founder + Chief Empowerment Officer, Eye to Eye.
“At VolunteerMatch we get to witness every day the power of volunteering to generate kindness and enrich the world around us. We are so excited to join Born This Way Foundation for #BeKind21 to uplift ourselves and our communities through connection and compassion,” said Laura Plato, Chief Solutions Officer, VolunteerMatch.
“During nearly 1,000 ‘television visits’ and in his life beyond the sweater, Fred Rogers helped generations of children understand that kindness means so much more than politeness and civility. As educators and learning advocates from Fred’s home region of southwestern Pennsylvania, we’ve learned from Fred — and our neighbors who continue his work — that a truer form of kindness begins when we accept one another ‘just the way we are.’ For this year’s #BeKind21, our team at Just the Way You Are will celebrate true kindness with our neighbors, near and far,” said Gregg Behr, co-author of When You Wonder, You’re Learning and member, Just the Way You Are coalition.
“Major League Hacking (MLH) is excited to be partnering with Born This Way Foundation again for #BeKind21! Their active mission to spread kindness into the lives of others on a daily basis is something that greatly relates to the mission of MLH. We are constantly working to empower technologists worldwide no matter their age, race, gender-identity, or socio-economic background. It is through the power of events and education advocacy that we see community and love grow. What else could be more important?” said Michael Swift, CEO + Co-Founder, Major League Hacking.
“Propeller builds campaigns around the most pressing issues of our time, and creates opportunities for anyone — artists, influencers and fans alike — to get involved and use their platform for good. We are excited to be working with Born This Way Foundation on the #BeKind21 campaign to help spread the message of kindness to ourselves and others,” said Brandon Deroche, Founder, Propeller.
“NAMI Southern Nevada is excited to team up with Born This Way Foundation for #BeKind21. As we work to raise mental health awareness and break down the stigma of mental health conditions through stories of empowered individuals, we ask that each person do their part by meeting these stories with understanding, love, and kindness. With empathy and compassion, we work towards healing our community,” said Trinh Dang, Executive Director, NAMI Southern Nevada.
#BeKind2021 is how we can change perspective and actions to move forward. Tri-Valley Haven is extremely proud to be a part of this campaign,” said Samantha Valdez, Communications Specialist, Tri-Valley Haven.
“Mighty Kind is thrilled to be partnering with Born This Way Foundation for another #BeKind21 movement where we can come together and be intentional about our kind acts. Let’s move past the performative and work to #radicalizekindness by truly connecting with those in our communities as serving as friends, neighbors, advocates, and allies,” said Nadine Fonseca, Co-Founder + CEO, Mighty Kind.
“Bumkins is excited to once again partner with Born This Way Foundation for #BeKind21 to bring their message of kindness to our community. We believe the foundation for kindness begins at home. Through the Bumkins network of parents and caregivers, we hope to highlight kindness and mental health awareness to encourage our community to be kinder to themselves as well as to instill kindness in their children, neighborhoods, and beyond,” said Jakki Liberman, President, Bumkins.
“We are honored to partner with Born This Way Foundation’s annual #BeKind21 campaign. I value our continued partnership with Born This Way Foundation and all they do to inspire and cultivate kindness. We continue to give $1 from every purchase made on hauslabs.com to the Foundation in support of their mission, and we encourage everyone to exercise kindness not only for the 21 days, but every day, always pushing toward a kinder, braver world,” said Ben Jones, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Haus Laboratories Makeup by Lady Gaga.
“Now, more than ever, we see the power of neighborhood connections. Each day on Nextdoor, we’re inspired by neighbors who are reaching out with kindness and compassion. We are honored to once again partner with Born This Way Foundation to promote #BeKind21 and work toward Nextdoor’s purpose to cultivate a kinder world where everybody has a neighborhood they can rely on,” said Sarah Friar, CEO, Nextdoor.
“The past year and a half has highlighted the need for kindness – for loved ones, for our communities, and for ourselves. Active Minds is proud to be a part of #BeKind21 because as we continue to figure out our lives in the new normal, kindness, compassion, and mental health will continue to need to be at the forefront of our decisions. Making a habit of those ideals this month will help us all continue to take life at our own pace as we navigate socialization, work/life balance, and our health and safety,” said Alison Malmon, Founder + Executive Director, Active Minds.
“Leading with kindness means putting inclusion at the heart of everything you do; it means prioritizing employee wellbeing and mental health; it means creating opportunities for everyone to succeed. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is proud to be a long-time partner of Born This Way Foundation and #BeKind21, and we support the business community as they continue leading the charge in building a kinder, more equitable world,” said Marc DeCourcey, Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
“Well Being Trust is honored to team up with Born This Way Foundation for #BeKind21 to build kinder, more connected communities. Kindness and compassion are woven into the fabric of our core values as an organization. As the vast majority of people continue to face increased stress and anxiety related to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, turning to one another and showing kindness is needed now more than ever. Well Being Trust is proud to be a part of #BeKind 21 and encourage everyone to join this effort – share kindness with others, let them know they are not alone, and that you are there for them,” said Amy Shields, Communications Director, Well Being Trust.
In 2020, #BeKind21 generated more than 112 million pledged acts of kindness globally with 5 million participants, and across the United States over 350 schools, 500 nonprofits and 300 brands joined Born This Way Foundation for the campaign.
For more information on #BeKind21 or Born This Way Foundation, please visit: bornthisway.foundation/bekind21. Follow Born This Way Foundation and the #BeKind21 movement through the hashtag #BeKind21 on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok.
About Born This Way Foundation
Born This Way Foundation, co-founded and led by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, supports the mental health of young people and works with them to build a kinder and braver world. Through high-impact programming, youth-led conversations, and strategic, cross-sectoral partnerships, the Foundation aims to make kindness cool, validate the emotions of young people, and eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health. Learn how the Foundation encourages people to practice kindness towards themselves and their communities at bornthisway.foundation and its storytelling platform Channel Kindness at channelkindness.org.