Last week was my last week at home until December, so after I put my children to bed, I sat in the hallway outside of their doors with two maps, one of the United States and one of the world, and drew dotted lines from city to city and country to country, circling push pins that indicated each tour stop.
We’ve been talking about tour for a long time in my house and in three days, on Monday morning, I fly to Vancouver, Canada for the kick off the of the Joanne World Tour and the first of dozens of events on behalf of Born This Way Foundation.
We have three goals – on this tour and beyond: we want to make kindness cool, we want to validate and support the emotions of young people around the world, and – most importantly – we want to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health and lift up stories and experiences.
I don’t have the language to explain that to my two and four year old yet, so I used the map.
When they woke up the morning after my art project, they walked into the hallway and found it. I told them that Mama is leaving and that my job when I’m gone (and always) is to help people, to be kind, to listen to people tell me stories and to share my story with them.
My son asked me questions about hemispheres, continents, and where Mickey lives and then they both skipped downstairs for breakfast. I’m going to miss a lot of questions, breakfasts, and bedtimes over the next five months and the map and our conversation that morning will remind me why.
I am going on tour so that when I come home, 35+ cities later, I will be able to tell my children about the kindness we saw (and contributed to), the communities that we supported and helped to build, the organizations that we served alongside, the companies dedicated to working across sectors to build a kinder and braver world for their workforce and neighborhoods, and the young people who were brave enough to share their stories of kindness, struggle, and resilience with us.
So what are we doing?
We’re calling it our Channel Kindness Tour – a series of pop up activations, youth led-events, and community gatherings that will serve as opportunities to be kind, be brave, and give back.
In addition to the eight Channel Kindness Awards we’ll be giving out to recognize youth leaders who are transforming their communities through kindness, we’ll have Kindness Pop Ups at select tour stops, below, around the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Concert goers will be invited to stop by and help us spread kindness, learn more about the Foundation’s work, and hear from an amazing local nonprofit.
We’ll have existing announcements over the coming days and weeks about the other amazing activities we’ll be taking part in and organizing as part of our Channel Kindness Tour – and how you can get involved even if you can’t be there in person.
So stay tuned for more details and get ready to help channel kindness!
Maya Enista Smith
- August 1: Vancouver, BC
- August 5: Tacoma, WA
- August 8 + 9: Inglewood, CA
- August 13: San Francisco, CA
- August 19: Omaha, NE
- August 21: Saint Paul, MN
- August 23: Cleveland, OH
- August 28 + 29: Flushing, NY
- September 1: Boston, MA
- September 11: Philadelphia, PA
- September 15: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
- September 22: Barcelona, Spain
- September 26: Milan, Italy
- October 6 + 7: Paris, France
- October 9 + 10: London, United Kingdom
- October 17: Manchester, United Kingdom
- October 26: Berlin, Germany
- November 7: Detroit, MI
- November 13: Louisville, KY
- November 15: Kansas City, MO
- November 19: Washington, D.C.
- November 28: Atlanta, GA
- November 30: Miami, FL
- December 1: Tampa, FL
- December 3: Houston, TX
- December 5: Austin, TX
- December 8: Dallas, TX
- December 9: Oklahoma City, OK