Lady Gaga in duet with … Harvard?

LOS ANGELES ( - Pop culture and higher education are once again merging -- and hopefully this time it will go better than Snooki's ill-conceived visit to Rutgers.

Lady Gaga is teaming up with Harvard University to form the Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization.

Its purpose: to "explore the best ways to reach youth and create a new culture of kindness, bravery, acceptance and empowerment" with a focus on issues such as "self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development and advocacy," according to a Harvard release.

The foundation -- which is named after the singer's most recent album and is a collaboration between Gaga, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the California Endowment, Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society and the Harvard Graduate School of Education -- will officially launch with a February 29 event at Harvard's Sanders Theatre. The singer and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, will be on hand for the reveal.

"My daughter's foundation was born out of her passion to create a better world where people are kinder and nicer to one another and are accepted for who they are, regardless of how different they may be," Cynthia Germanotta said of the new organization.

"She has experienced many of the struggles that our youth encounter today, and identifies with the lasting effects they can have without proper support. Together, we look forward to creating a new movement that will engage and empower youth and accept them as valuable members of our society."

Gaga, a frequent champion of gay rights, was honored earlier this week with a GLAAD Media Awards nomination, in the Outstanding Music Artist category.

(Editing by Chris Michaud)


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