Tarana Burke is receiving the Black Girls Rock! 2018 Community Change Agent Award during Sunday’s show. For more than 25 years, Tarana has been an activist and advocate. Viewers will recognize as the founder of the #MeToo movement.
Burke started the movement back in 2006. The movement resurfaced in 2017 and became powerful when more women and men started speaking out about their experiences with sexual harassment.
It was Burke’s goal to use the #MeToo hashtag to take the focus away from aggressors and perpetrators of sexual crimes and to give victims a voice. Tarana Burke wanted the victims to become survivors and give empowerment through empathy.
Tarana Burke’s work has often included sexual violence and racial justice, particularly Black women and girls. She wants to interrupt the sexual violence, inequalities, and other systemic issues that impact marginalized people.
This includes creating, leading, and being the voice of campaigns that want to bring resources and support to impacted communities and women. The #MeToo hashtag and campaign has been a massive success, as other celebrities started sharing their own stories.
Tarana Burke started this kind of work at an early age, growing up in New York. She helped organize a rally for girls who had been abused or were disadvantaged.
Burke accomplished this as a teenager and she realized she had a talent for making things happen. She also organized protests, press conferences.
Eventually, Burke graduated from Auburn University with a degree in political science with the goal of helping more people. Her work eventually resulted in her becoming a consultant to Ava DuVernay on SELMA.
Black Girls rock airs on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 8/7c on BET.