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Lady Gaga Debuts Foundation At Harvard 02:08
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Lady Gaga is surrounded by security as she walks through the campus prior to an event at Harvard University Wednesday Feb. 29. (AP)
Lady Gaga is surrounded by security as she walks through the campus prior to an event at Harvard University Wednesday Feb. 29. (AP)

Reported by Beenish Ahmed

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Lady Gaga set aside her thigh-high fishnets and signature face masks and instead donned a sophisticated long, black gown. The so-called "Queen of Pop" looked almost regal as she testified about her new foundation, Born This Way, after an on-stage chat with Oprah Winfrey.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asked Gaga how she hopes to empower kids to create a more accepting world.

"I guess, I sort of have this feeling that if I can, you know, make a song called 'Just Dance' really big all over the world, I might be able to make a song that's, you know, 'Just Be Nice,' " Gaga said.

Sebelius was one of six panelists who questioned Gaga about her new foundation. Other panelists included spiritual leader Deepak Chopra and Alyssa Rodemeyer, whose 14-year-old brother committed suicide last fall after being harassed for his sexual identity.

Oprah Winfrey enters Sanders Theatre at Harvard University ahead of an event to announce Lady Gaga's new anti-bullying foundation. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Oprah Winfrey enters Sanders Theatre at Harvard University ahead of an event to announce Lady Gaga's new anti-bullying foundation. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Lady Gaga said she doesn't feel she can single-handedly create a more accepting world, but hopes to use her fame to spark change.

"I can't tell you where I got my nerve from, but I believe that if you have revolutionary potential you must make the world a better place and use it," Gaga said.

The foundation's message rings true to Samuel Brickett, who says he was bullied in high school for being gay. Now a graduate student at MIT, Brickett is moved by Gaga's mission.

"Lady Gaga's been about 'If you are different, it's okay to just be different,'" Brickett said. "And I think that's a really inspiring moment."

Harvard's Berkman Center, the MacArthur Foundation and other organizations have pledged to work with Lady Gaga and her foundation.

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This program aired on March 1, 2012.

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