Creator of the #MeToo movement
"Tarana Burke is an American civil rights activist. She is known for being the first to use the phrase "Me Too", in 2006, to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual abuse and assault in society. The phrase has since developed into a broader movement. Time named Burke, among a group of other prominent female activists dubbed "the silence breakers", as the Time Person of the Year for 2017. She is currently Senior Director at Girls for Gender Equity…
Burke is the Senior Director of Girls for Gender Equity in Brooklyn, which strives to help young women of color increase their overall development through various programs and classes.
In 1997, Burke met a young girl named Heaven in Alabama who told her about being sexually abused by her mother's boyfriend. She says she didn't know what to say, and never saw the girl again. She says she wished she had said "me too." This and other incidents led Burke to found Just Be Inc., an organization that promotes the wellness of young female minorities, in 2006. Just Be Inc. received its first grant in 2007.
In 2017, actress Alyssa Milano started using #MeToo as an Internet hashtag in response to accusations against Harvey Weinstein and other public figures of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other abusive behavior. In October 2017, Milano acknowledged Burke's earlier use of the phrase on Twitter, writing "I was just made aware of an earlier #MeToo movement, and the origin story is equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring". Burke has been supportive of the #MeToo hashtag.
When asked if the movement should not be split into two groups—one for sexual harassment and another for sexual assault—Burke said that the movement is for both. She has said that both types of sexual misconduct can be extremely traumatizing, and it's about the trauma someone feels as opposed to trying to categorize the severity of the violence against them.
Time named Burke, among a group of other prominent female activists dubbed "the silence breakers", as the Time Person of the Year for 2017.
Burke organizes workshops to help improve policies at schools, workplaces, and places of worship, and focuses on helping victims not blame themselves for sexual violence." (1)