Tarana Burke View Profile

Social Activist & Founder of #MeToo Movement

“MeToo is really about survivors supporting survivors. And it’s really about community healing and community action.”

Those are the words of Tarana Burke, founder of the ubiquitous MeToo movement.

A social activist and the current senior director of programs at Girls for Gender Equity, Burke began the movement with no idea of the international profile it would gain.

“MeToo is a movement that was founded in 2006 to support survivors of sexual violence,” she said. Initially, it was known as Just Be Inc., an organization promoting the wellness of young female minorities. The “MeToo” slogan grew out of Burke’s work with Just Be Inc.

The movement has only grown since then. From its origins as a movement to support young women of colour who experienced sexual violence, it now encompasses women and men all over the world, Burke has told Business Insider.

Burke was living and working in Alabama when the idea was conceived. She had been working with young girls who disclosed sexual abuse at an alarming rate… and Burke decided to take her work online to reach more people. The movement grew exponentially from there.

It wasn’t until 2017, however, when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted the now-infamous hashtag, that it achieved viral status.

Tarana is the original member of “The Silence Breakers,” she is TIME magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year and received the 2018 Ridenhour Prize for Courage.

“People call me a leader of this movement – I accept that as a title, I guess – but I’m a worker, more than anything. I think it’s just helped me to scale up and to expand the work that I’m doing and the vision I have for this work,” she has said.

“It’s given me a larger platform to speak about it.”


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