More than a decade ago, Tarana Burke, a social activist in New York, began saying “Me too” to reveal the pervasiveness of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
But the phrase did not become a national rallying cry until October, when articles in the New York Times and the New Yorker magazine exposed decades of alleged sexual predation by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The Weinstein story, coupled with Burke’s rhetoric, has fueled a movement to call out abuses by powerful men.
Burke, who works for the Brooklyn-based nonprofit Girls for Gender Equity, and Ronan Farrow, the investigative journalist behind the New Yorker series on Weinstein, are scheduled to speak April 20 at Gonzaga University. Their appearance will mark the seventh installment of Gonzaga’s Presidential Speaker Series.
“This event provides an opportunity to engage with leaders at the forefront of this social justice movement, to better understand the phenomenon of sexual abuse, and to more deeply appreciate the profound cultural change the #MeToo movement represents,” Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh said in a news release.
Burke has spent more than 25 years as a social activist and devoted much of her efforts to helping young women of color who have survived sexual abuse. She was part of a group of women dubbed “The Silence Breakers” who appeared on the cover of Time magazine in December.
Farrow, the son of actress Mia Farrow, graduated from Bard College at age 15, earned a law degree from Yale and attended Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to writing for the New Yorker, he has hosted a weekday program for MSNBC and now makes documentaries for HBO. He’s also worked for the U.S. State Department in the Middle East and recently finished a book about foreign policy that is to be published April 24.
The Gonzaga event, titled “The Power of Social Discourse and the Complexity of the #MeToo Movement,” will begin at 7 p.m. April 20 in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Tickets went on sale March 15 on TicketsWest.com, but a Gonzaga spokesman said Tuesday that more than 4,000 were still available. They cost $14, or $10 for seniors, students and educators.
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