Anti-bullying expert helps launch Born This Way Foundation

For its opening event, Lady Gaga’s new foundation selected APA member Susan Swearer, PhD, to lead a discussion on stemming the effects of bullying in the classroom.

Susan Swearer, PhDThe Born This Way Foundation, created by recording artist Lady Gaga, explores the best ways to reach youth and "create a new culture of kindness, bravery, acceptance and empowerment," according to its website. On Feb. 29, APA member Susan Swearer, PhD, joined others at Harvard University for a symposium as part of the foundation’s main launch event.

Former APA Congressional Fellow David Washington, who now serves as the foundation’s policy and philanthropy advisor through his work with The California Endowment, contacted APA to help facilitate Dr. Swearer’s involvement at the event.

Swearer is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and co-directs the Bullying Research Network that includes numerous other APA members. Swearer previously joined APA CEO Norman B. Anderson, PhD, and other APA members at a White House conference on bullying in 2011.

Bullying"I'm incredibly honored to be a part of the official launch of the Born This Way Foundation," Swearer said in a university press release. "Lady Gaga's voice reaches billions, and her ability to get anti-bullying messages out into the world is unparalleled. I and others involved are eager to do anything we can to help form and inform those messages."

The Born This Way Foundation’s focus on reducing bullying could not come at a better time. Estimates say 40-80 percent of school-age children experience bullying at some point during their school careers and 10-15 percent may be either chronic victims or bullies themselves.