#MeToo Founder Coming to GR

Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke, the founder of #MeToo, is headed to Grand Rapids in November.

Women’s leadership organization Inforum announced that Burke will keynote its capstone event on Thursday, Nov. 29. The event is taking place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids, 235 Louis St NW.

Individual tickets for members are on sale now. Nonmembers can begin purchasing tickets on July 2. Tickets are available at Inforum.

Burke, who is also one of Time’s100 Most Influential People for 2018, founded the #MeToo movement in 2006 to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly women of color from low wealth communities, find pathways to healing. She led the movement using the idea of “empowerment through empathy,” letting survivors know that they are not alone.

In October 2017, the hashtag went viral after the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein became public, with social media posts made by high-profile celebrities that included Alyssa Milano, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, and Jennifer Lawrence. Since then, the phrase has become synonymous with a global movement against sexual harassment and assault.

Burke has spent more than 25 years doing social justice work. She is also the senior director of programs at Brooklyn-based Girls for Gender Equity.

“Having the opportunity to have Tarana Burke speak at our Capstone event is such an honor,” said Terry Barclay, Inforum president and CEO. “Her hard work, bravery and ability to bring people together has reshaped and expanded the conversation surrounding sexual harassment and assault.”

Inforum’s capstone dinner serves as an annual celebration to end the year.

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