Founder of The ‘me too’ Movement & Social Justice Activist
For more than 25 years, activist and advocate Tarana J. Burke has worked at the intersection of racial justice and sexual violence. Fueled by commitments to interrupt sexual violence and other systemic inequalities disproportionately impacting marginalized people, particularly black women and girls, Tarana has created and led various campaigns focused on increasing access to resources and support for impacted communities, including the “me too” movement.
A proud native of the Bronx, NY, Tarana’s passion for community organizing began in the late 1980s; when as a young girl, she joined a youth development organization called 21st Century, and led campaigns focused on racial discrimination, housing inequality and economic justice. In 2007, she created JustBe Inc., an organization committed to the empowerment and wellness of black girls. It was during that time that ‘me too.’ was born as a tool to help heal and provide a safe space for young people to share their stories.
Her theory of using empathy to empower survivors is changing the paradigm for engaging with survivors. Her belief that healing isn’t a destination, but a journey, has touched and inspired millions of survivors who previously lived with the pain, shame and trauma of their assaults in isolation.