Tarana Burke, who founded the “me too” movement more than a decade before it sparked a viral hashtag, is delivering the keynote address for Duke University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration today.
Burke is the senior director at Girls for Gender Equity. She coined the phrase “me too” in 2006 as a way to raise awareness about sexual violence and build bonds between survivors. In 2017, the phrase took off as #MeToo as survivors shared their stories of abuse and resilience. That same year, TIME Magazine named Burke and others – collectively called “the silence breakers” – as its Person of the Year.
Burke will “link King’s civil rights legacy to the continuing struggle for equity and justice in all facets of our society,” according to the university.
“We rarely highlight Dr. King’s activism aimed at pushing back on systems of power and privilege,” said Benjamin Reese Jr., vice president and chief diversity officer for the Duke Office for Institutional Equity. “Ms. Burke’s social justice work and her activism in highlighting sexual assault is a credit to Dr. King’s legacy.”
Watch a livestream of Burke’s remarks here and follow the INDY’s live coverage below: