Annmarie Haubert may be the youngest LAMP facilitator, but she’s also a powerhouse for promoting youth activism and media education! In addition to teaching our workshops, she is also the New York representative on the Youth Advisory Board for the Born This Way Foundation, which works to end bullying and intolerance. Read on to learn about how she got involved, what the Youth Advisory Board does and how her work with The LAMP aligns with BTWF.
First things first: Did you get to meet Lady Gaga? Lady Gaga is a VERY busy woman. Unfortunately, during the Youth Advisory Board’s summit in Los Angeles, Gaga was on tour outside of the US. However, her mother, Cynthia, was glad to join us as a part of the summit. Gaga did record a video message for the members that was shown at one of our group meetings during the summit. It was a very personal and inspiring message.
How did you come to be on the BTWF Youth Advisory Board, and why did you decide to apply? My boss here at The LAMP, DC Vito, brought this opportunity to my attention. While explaining to me what my responsibilities would be, what the foundation stands for, and the change that I could be making, I already had my mind made up. I had to fill out an application and submit it ASAP! I personally stand for everything that the foundation stands for. I believe in equality and I believe in bravery. Unfortunately, cruelty is something that happens each and every day, but we all have the power and bravery inside of us to be kinder to one another.
What is the purpose of the BTWF YAB, and what do you do as a member? The Youth Advisory Board is committed to expanding, promoting, and embodying the ideals of the Born This Way Foundation by providing constructive ideas and honest feedback on its programs, creating an alliance of diverse youth that are empowered and inspired to affect change in their communities, and illuminating the way toward a kinder and braver world by ensuring its integrity as a youth-led movement.
How does the YAB and BTWF plan to encourage more positive representations of individuality in media? Through the Born This Way Foundation’s website and our social media pages, the Born This Way Foundation is always posting inspirational messages and promoting bravery online. Lady Gaga has also recently started a “Body Revolution” movement on her own social media site for fans that has spread all over the internet and made headlines. Gaga posted images of herself in her underwear as she opened up about her own issues with her body image. Tons of young people were inspired to open up and be brave about embracing their bodies and the things that make them who they are. The Youth Advisory Board is currently discussing and planning more media based projects and hoping that we can continue to inspire others, but I can’t spill any details just yet!
Part of the stated mission of BTWF is to move towards “a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated.” What does the YAB do to support this? The Youth Advisory Board is dedicated to creating an alliance of diverse youth that are empowered and inspired to affect change in their communities. Each and every one of us are doing this by embracing the mission of the BTWF and using our kindness to inspire others by internet posts, activities and word of mouth.
What do you see as the intersection between your teaching with The LAMP and the mission of the BTWF? I could go on and on about this! To keep it short, I’ll say that The LAMP is doing amazing work. There have been anti-bullying and cyber-bullying PSA’s made by students, we have workshops where there are discussions about advertisements that teach the students that they have their own mind, and within the news and documentary workshops, the kids have the choice to create news stories and documentaries about the topics that are important to them. I think that those things mesh with the BTWF’s mission by showing the students that they have the power to create their own media about what is important to them and that they have their own mind and the power to use it.