‘Me Too’ activist Tarana Burke to speak

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Civil rights activist Tarana Burke will speak at 7 p.m., Monday, April 8, in the Popp Martin Student Union Multipurpose Room.

Burke is considered the founder of the “Me Too” movement; she first began using the phrase “Me Too” in 2006 to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual abuse and assault in society. Time magazine named her among the group of “silence breakers” to be Person of the Year for 2017, in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations that year. Various media outlets have credited actress Alyssa Milano with popularizing the hashtag “Me Too” via social media; she later acknowledged the earlier use of the phrase by Burke.

Currently a senior director at the Girls for Gender Equity in Brooklyn, Burke, a sexual assault survivor, will discuss the “Me Too” Movement. In public speaking events nationwide, she advocates for providing support for sexual assault survivors. According to Burke, her early activism work with girls in Tuskegee, Alabama, revealed the all-too-common story of abuse in these disadvantaged girls’ lives. In a room full of 30 girls, she said she expected around five or six “Me Toos.” There ended up being 20.

The Center for Wellness Promotion, with support from the Campus Activities Board, a Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund grant, Housing and Residence Life, School of Social Work, Student Health Center, Title IX Office, UNC Charlotte Athletics, University Recreation, W+GRA and the Women and Gender Studies program, is the organizer of this free, public program. Doors will open at 6 p.m.