Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation's #BeKind21 campaign is an invitation for people to practice kindness toward themselves and others each day from Sept. 1 to 21 to build kinder and more connected communities that foster mental wellness. Individuals are invited to take the kindness pledge and share their experience on social media using the hashtag #BeKind21.
The initiative launched in 2018 and since then more than 200 partners and seven million participants have pledged 160 million acts of kindness. Partners have included schools, colleges, school districts, cities, non-profit organizations and corporations.
People interested in taking part in #BeKind21 can sign up here.
That web page also provides tools to create a custom #BeKind21 calendar to keep track of acts of kindness; downloadable graphics; draft social media posts; mental health resources; self-care tips; and stories about the transformative power of kindness.
#BeKind21 will culminate, appropriately, on the United Nations International Day of Peace on Sept. 21.
A growing body of research has demonstrated the tangible benefits of kindness for communities and individuals. For example, a 2017 survey commissioned by Born This Way Foundation showed that young people who describe their environments as kind are also more likely to be mentally healthy.
Performing acts of kindness has also been shown to boost reported levels of happiness, self-worth and calmness while decreasing symptoms of depression.
#BeKind21 is an initiative of Born This Way Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that was co-founded by musician Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, in 2012. It emerged from the two of them meeting young people around the world who shared stories and inspired them.
Born This Way Foundation works with researchers and builds action-oriented programs and campaigns while providing resources and tools for youth to solve problems and drive change in their communities. It published its first book, Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community, last September.