In 2017, actress Alyssa Milano used the phrase “me too” in a tweet that sparked a worldwide conversation about sexual assault after Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein got accused of several of these actions. The “Me Too” movement hit the ground running afterward, however, it was activist Tarana Burke that had started the groundwork for it 20 years prior when she started a non-profit that to help young women of color.
On Thursday, February 8th, she spoke to a room of over 1,000 people of how she started that same non-profit and moved on to see the movement prosper and gain light on its tragic focus. Her crowd was enthusiastic and listened attentively to every word she offered.
One of those most important things she had to say was the overall message of the movement, that at Me Too’s core, it “is not about toppling the careers of powerful men or “naming and shaming,” Burke told the crowd. “It is about helping survivors of sexual violence heal their psychic wounds.”
Tyna Molinaro, an audience member, says “The Me Too movement is so powerful, especially in this current political climate. With someone so bold as the President who’s willing to just say the stuff he does so openly about sexually abusing and harassing women, and with Cavanaugh, it’s such a heavy and important thing that we need talking of.”
In her last few minutes to conclude her last stop in a tour of CSU campuses, Tarana Burke reinforces the truth that sexual assault is a universal conversation that needs to be discussed and tackled together. “I need all of you to get involved and get the work done,” she says. “We need to recognize the urgency of this movement. Let’s work together. Let’s heal together.”