‘Me Too’ movement founder to speak at Roger Williams University

BRISTOL – As part of the school’s yearlong lecture series focused on race, gender and power, “Me Too” movement founder Tarana Burke will speak at Roger Williams University on Feb. 13.

“Everyone has a role … interrupting sexual violence,” said Burke in a statement accompanying the announcement.

She continued: “My goal for the talk is to make sure students and faculty walk away with a deep understanding of what the movement is and how they can participate in it.”

With more than a quarter-century of social justice activism under her belt, Burke serves as senior director of programs at Girls for Gender and Equity, a nonprofit in Brooklyn, N.Y. Twelve years ago she began the “Me Too” movement to support victims of sexual violence. The #MeToo hashtag went viral in 2017 when U.S. actress Alyssa Milano used it following the reveal of sexual harassment accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

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In a statement, Laura D’Amore, associate professor of American studies and program coordinator for gender and sexuality studies, said the “Me Too” movement has had such success because it “gives voice to people who have historically held so little power in our society. … Tarana Burke’s talk will show us how to activate and respond.”

Free and open to the public, the talk will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Campus Recreation Center Gymnasium on the Bristol campus.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email, gowdey-backus@pbn.com.