Education

#Metoo 'silence breaker' to visit University of Iowa, Iowa State

Tarana Burke's story will 'will move, uplift, and inspire you'

Tarana Burke CREDIT: @strangebirdproductions
Tarana Burke CREDIT: @strangebirdproductions

Although Tarana Burke didn’t have the words at the time — back in 1997 when a young girl confided in her about being sexually abused — she spoke them later and louder, sending reverberations around the world.

Those words, “me too,” have resonated with young and old, rich and poor, black and white and every ethnicity in between, spurring a global social movement that has reshaped politics, workplaces, industries and individual lives.

“The simple yet courageous #metoo hashtag campaign has emerged as a rallying cry for people everywhere who have survived sexual assault and sexual harassment,” according to the University of Iowa Lecture Committee, which is hosting Burke in the Iowa Memorial Union on Tuesday evening.

Burke’s social advocacy started long before the current #metoo movement with her founding in 2006 of Just Be Inc., an organization aimed at supporting wellness for young women of color. She’s also senior director of programs at Girls for Gender Equity, a Brooklyn nonprofit focused on strengthening communities and opportunities for women.

She’s planning to visit both Iowa State University and the UI next week.

Burke’s activism goes deeper and further than the recent surge in sexual assault and abuse revelations that have brought down Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and others. But her more than 25 years of social justice work “unknowingly helped pave the way for what was to come,” according to an Iowa State news release.

Actress Alyssa Milano last year, in response to allegations against film producer Weinstein, used the hashtag #metoo on Twitter, launching the viral movement.

Time magazine named Burke, along with others like her, as “the silence breakers” and its collective 2017 “person of the year.”

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“A sexual assault survivor herself, Tarana is now working under the banner of the ‘me too’ movement to assist other survivors and those who work to end sexual violence,” according to the UI Lecture Committee.

“On stage, she provides words of empowerment that lift up marginalized voices, enables survivors across all races, genders or classes to know that they are not alone and creates a place for comfort and healing to those who have experienced trauma.”

If you go:

Iowa State University

When: 8 p.m. Monday

Where: Stephens Auditorium on the ISU campus

Cost: No tickets are required for the free, public lecture, with general admission seating.

University of Iowa

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Main Lounge in the Iowa Memorial Union

Cost: Free and general admission seating

l Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

MORE Education ARTICLES TO READ NEXT ...

IOWA CITY - An Iowa City man charged with sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 was employed at an Iowa City elementary school, though school district officials say the allegations of abuse 'were in no way related to any Longfel ...

CEDAR RAPIDS - The Cedar Rapids Community School District has backed down from a proposal that many teachers feared would have removed all but base wages from their contracts.The Cedar Rapids school board Monday approved a contrac ...

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.