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May 21, 2015 2:45 pm

Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Lady Gaga accepted the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) Making a Difference Award. Photo: Twitter.

Pop superstar Lady Gaga on Thursday accepted an award from Jewish human rights group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on behalf of her Born This Way Foundation, which strives to combat bullying among young people.

“Your philosophies are so in line with ours,” she said of the ADL upon accepting the Making a Difference Award in a videotaped message, which was shown at a ceremony in New York City. “We want to help young people know that their feelings and who they are on the inside is very important to everyone. We want to do everything we can to make them feel strong and happy, and know that they deserve a kinder and braver life.”

Gaga founded the Born This Way Foundation in 2011 together with her mother, Cynthia Germanotta. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them, according to its website. Gaga said receiving the ADL’s award was an incredible honor” and “a huge deal” for her and her mother, “especially because of all of the hard work ADL has been doing to fight antisemitism, homophobia, bigotry, intolerance for the past 100 years.”

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“Youth for me represent a kinder and braver world because their stories have the ability to change things. It takes just one story to inspire someone to be nicer in class,” she said. “It takes just one story to inspire someone who wants to give up. It takes just one story to change somebody’s life.”

In a statement, ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman called Lady Gaga a “one-of-a-kind inspirational champion for social change and a positive role model for young people.” He praised the singer and her mother for their work, and the Born This Way Foundation for empowering youth to stand up against bullying and hatred.

Hundreds of children from 85 schools in New York State and northern New Jersey attended the award ceremony on Thursday and were formally recognized for their efforts in combating bigotry, bullying and bias, according to the ADL. Similar ceremonies will be held across the country this year as ADL recognizes the more than 1,600 schools that completed the organization’s No Place for Hate program. The initiative aims to build awareness about the consequences of unchecked hatred and tries to empower young people to stand up against bullying and stereotyping in schools.

Gregg M. Mashberg, ADL’s New York Regional Board Chair, said it was great to be honoring a celebrity who is also a native New Yorker. He told the students gathered at the award ceremony, “Like Lady Gaga, you are all making a difference.”

“Through your work to confront hate in your schools, you have mirrored her amazing work in an unbelievable way,” he said.

Watch the video of Lady Gaga’s acceptance speech below:

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