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Tarana's words are a testimony to liberation and love." -- -- and how she brought empathy back to an entire generation in one of the largest cultural events in American history.Tarana didn't always have the courage to say "me too." As a child, she reeled from her sexual assault, believing she was responsible. Unable to confess what she thought of as her own sins for fear of shattering her family, her soul split in two. One side was the bright, intellectually curious third generation Bronxite steeped in Black literature and power, and the other was the bad, shame ridden girl who thought of herself as a vile rule breaker, not as a victim. She tucked one away, hidden behind a wall of pain and anger, which seemed to work...until it didn't.

About the Author

Tarana Burke

Tarana J. Burke has been working at the intersection of racial justice, arts and culture, anti-violence and gender equity for nearly three decades. Fueled by a commitment to interrupt systemic issues disproportionately impacting marginalized people, like sexual violence, particularly for Black women and girls, Tarana has created and led campaigns that have brought awareness to the harmful legacies surrounding communities of color. Specifically, her work to end sexual violence has not only exposed the ugly truths of sexism and spoke truth to power, it has also increased access to resources and support for survivors and paved a way forward for everyone to find their place in the movement.A proud native of the Bronx, NY, Tarana's passion for community organizing began in the late 1980s; when as a young girl, she joined a youth leadership organization called 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement. She led and participated in initiatives around issues like police brutality, housing inequality and economic justice across the city. That work, coupled with a desire to deepen her academic education and organizing skills led her to Alabama State University, a historically Black institution. Her organizing and advocacy work continued throughout college and remains a pillar of her professional life.Her career took an intentional turn toward supporting survivors of sexual violence while living in Selma, Alabama and working for 21st Century. She encountered dozens of Black girls with stories of sexual violence, abuse, and exploitation, stories with which she personally identified. Tarana realized too many girls were trying their best to survive without access to resources, safe spaces and support. So, in 2004, she created Just Be, Inc., an organization committed to the empowerment and wellness of Black and Brown girls. The 'me too.' Movement was born shortly thereafter as an entry to healing for survivors and a mechanism for developing survivor leaders.In 2017, when 'me too.' as a hashtag (#metoo) went viral, Tarana emerged as a global leader in the evolving conversation around sexual violence. She placed the focus back on survivors and the need for survivor-centered, survivor-led solutions. Her theory of 'empowerment through empathy' is changing the way the world thinks and talks about sexual violence, consent and bodily autonomy. Tarana uses her platform to share the messages that healing is possible, survivors are leaders and ending sexual violence has to be a social justice priority, which has touched and inspired millions of survivors who previously lived with the pain, shame and trauma of their experience in isolation. In 2018, Tarana founded 'me too.' International, a global non-profit organization that serves as a container for the vision and framework for the 'me too.' Movement. The organization serves as a convener, innovator, thought leader, and organizer across the mainstream and the grassroots to addres

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