NEW YORK — Ten years ago, popstar Lady Gaga released her Hit song “Born This Way.” Now, the single lends its name to a movement.
This year, 500 young adults from every corner of the world applied to be on Born This Way Foundation’s Youth Advisory Board, and one of the 30 selected is New York’s Very Own.
Brooklyn resident Olu Ogunlade said she initially applied to the board after reading through Born This Way Foundation’s website and identifying strongly with its mission. She told PIX11’s Tamsen Fadal that she was surprised to be chosen because of the high volume of applicants, but added that she knows she’s deserving of the opportunity.
That confidence comes from experience — Ogunlade started her advocacy work with the Osborne Association in Brooklyn, which focuses on incarceration reform. She also co-founded the service organization Black Girls Advocate.
“My plate is full,” Ogunlade told PIX11, “but I’m up for the challenge.”
A common thread in her advocacy work is amplifying the voices of those who “would speak up” if they weren’t being silenced, something she compared to having a microphone that isn’t quite loud enough.
One of her inspirations is the late John Lewis, whose “good trouble” mantra is referenced by Ogunlade in her Born This Way Foundation bio. She told PIX11 that for her, “good trouble” means taking it to the streets and practicing civil disobedience when necessary.