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Educational Psychology Professor Dorothy Espelage invited to participate in Lady Gaga's new foundation launch
Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, will launch the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) on February 29. As part of that launch, Educational Psychology Professor Dorothy Espelage will participate in an academic symposium on youth meanness and cruelty.
The all-day, invitation-only academic symposium will be held at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society in partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the MacArthur Foundation. The event will conclude at 3:30 p.m., just one hour prior to the official unveiling of Lady Gaga's new foundation at Harvard's Sanders Theatre.
The working meeting will bring together a select number of experts, researchers, policymakers, foundation representatives, and others to discuss research and findings related to bullying—both online and offline. It will also emphasize positive concepts like healthy relationships and digital citizenship.
Sessions will focus on opportunities to highlight and develop positive and urgently needed near-term interventions that can address primary concerns regarding harm to youth. They will emphasize several other issues as well, including identifying a process that will, over several years, dig deep into the root causes and issues that give rise to bullying. By exposing root causes, the hope is to make more substantial progress in addressing meanness and cruelty toward young people in the medium term.
Espelage will bring 17 years of research to the table, including her current CDC-funded grant to evaluate a bully prevention program in the nation's largest randomized clinical trial to date.
"The reality is that Lady Gaga will have a significant impact on raising awareness and opening a serious dialogue among parents, students, teachers, and policymakers on bully prevention; an impact that is slow to be actualized when only researchers are talking to each other," Espelage said. "I am happy to bring the research to this event."
The symposium will feature six topical "working streams" with approximately 15 individuals assigned to each topic. The working streams are: classroom-based curricula, curricula as a campaign for a networked age, evaluation and assessment, grassroots and peer-driven initiatives, law and policy, and school culture.
To see the Born This Way Foundation press release...