Tarana Burke, founder of the “#MeToo” movement, will give the C. Christine Johnson Voices of Color series lecture, followed by a question and answer session, at Hamilton College on Thursday, May 2, at 6:15 p.m., in the Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.
Burke is a civil rights activist who founded the #MeToo movement. In 2006, Burke began using the phrase “Me Too” to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual abuse and assault in society. The phrase developed into a broader movement, following the 2017 use of #MeToo as a hashtag following the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations. TIME named Burke, among a group of other prominent activists dubbed “the silence breakers,” as the TIME Person of the Year for 2017.
Burke started her professional career in Selma, Ala., where she worked with the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement, the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute, and the Black Belt Arts and Cultural Center. In 2003, she turned her efforts to helping young minority women by co-founding Jendayi Aza, which evolved into Just Be, Inc. Burke also served as a consultant for Selma (2014), the Oscar-nominated film about the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by Martin Luther King, Jr. She is currently senior director at Girls for Gender Equity in Brooklyn.
The Voices of Color series is named for Chris Johnson, Hamilton’s first Opportunity Programs director, for her 30 years of commitment to helping Hamilton students of color.