Stunning in its simplicity, the #metoo hashtag campaign has evolved into a revolutionary rallying cry for people worldwide who have survived sexual violence and sexual harassment. It has served as an immensely effective tool for calling out perpetrators and seeking justice for victims.
It may seem as though the #metoo hashtag campaign came out of nowhere; in fact, it was 25 years in the making, built on the back of Tarana Burke’s lifelong dedication to developing support structures for young women of color who survived sexual violence. Burke was lifted from relative obscurity at the January 2018 broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards when she joined actresses Michelle Williams and Reese Witherspoon on stage to announce the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund for victims of sexual violence and inequality in the workplace.
Thanks to the groundwork she laid, the Me Too momentum continues to create solidarity, amplify the voices of victims of sexual abuse, and put the focus back on survivors.
A survivor herself, Burke has now joined forces with The “me too” Movement to assist survivors and those working to end sexual violence. Her talk at 4 PM Thursday, Oct. 25 in Graham Chapel will be a poignant and inspiring reminder of how one person can create an international movement that actually moves society in the right direction.
Burke also serves as senior director of programs for the Brooklyn-based Girls for Gender Equity, a non profit organization providing learning experiences to eliminate practices and policies perpetuating gender-based violence.