Founder of “Me Too” Movement Coming to Mississauga Soon

 

The "Me Too" movement, which was launched to encourage women to express solidarity with those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault and misconduct (and also share their own stories), has generated both supporters and critics.

But while not everyone is on board with the movement, no one can argue that it hasn't been effective in shifting conversations on women's rights and experiences.

And now, the founder of the movement is coming to give a talk in Mississauga.

On Friday, March 8, Tarana Burke, the woman behind "Me Too," will appear in Hammerson Hall at the Living Arts Centre to share the story that propelled the massive social media (and cultural) phenomenon.

The event, An Evening with Tarana Burke, will allow audiences to hear the Bronx-born civil rights activist share her story and discuss the birth of a movement designed to help those who have suffered sexual assault, misconduct and harassment.

While you might think that "me too" started with actor Alyssa Milano, that's not quite accurate—although it's certainly fair to credit Milano with spreading the good word. According to the New York Times, Burke created the "me too" campaign in 2007—10 years before the #MeToo hashtag gained traction after Milano used it to drum up support for victims in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.  

According to The Times, Burke came up with the term when she created a nonprofit called Just Be Inc., an organization that helps those who have experienced sexual harassment and assault. According to the article, she was compelled to create the organization after counselling a 13-year-old sexual abuse victim in 1997. After she created the organization, she decided to name her movement Me Too.

"The simple yet courageous #metoo hashtag campaign has emerged as a rallying cry for people everywhere who have survived sexual assault and sexual harassment - and Tarana's powerful, poignant story as creator of what is now an international movement that supports survivors will move, uplift, and inspire you," the event page reads.

A sexual assault survivor herself, Burke works under the banner of The 'me too' movement, which is housed at Brooklyn-based Girls for Gender Equity where she serves as senior director.

On stage, Burke works to empower marginalized people and let survivors of all races, genders and classes to know that they are not alone. The Living Arts Centre says Burke's event "creates a place for comfort and healing to those who have experienced trauma."

Burke has been formally recognized for her work over the years. She was named Time Person of the Year  2017 and received the 2018 Ridenhour Prize for Courage and the 2018 Voices of the Year Catalyst Award.

The show will kick off at 7:00 p.m., and a special Tarana Burke VIP event will take place at 8:45. Tickets to the show cost $65 and tickets to the add-on VIP event cost $45 (attendees are not required to purchase VIP tickets, and VIP tickets alone do not include the 8:00 p.m. talk).

For more information, click here.

Cover photo courtesy of Tarana Burke’s official Facebook page

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