"Being Heard and Telling Your Truth"
The #MeToo Movement with founder Tarana Burke
In the wake of Packer in Action Day focused on gender norms, Middle and Upper School students were eager to hear from #MeToo founder and senior director at Girls for Gender Equity Tarana Burke. Ms. Burke came to Packer to discuss gender-based violence and her role as the leader of the social justice movement that strives to "support survivors and end sexual violence."
Sarah Desouza '18 and Sam Tecotsky '18 moderated the conversation for the Middle and Upper School audience. In response to questions from students, Ms. Burke spoke about how the issues raised by the MeToo movement relate to everyday life; the role of men in the movement; and the history of the movement before it exploded onto the world stage in 2018.
Ms. Burke reminded the students that the MeToo movement is a movement for survivors of sexual assault and that victims of sexual violence are not limited to gender. Those statements, said Sarah Desouza '18, were paramount to the day's discussion. "[Sexual assault] can happen to anyone and the common misconception is that this is just a female issue" she said after the event.
Ms. Burke encouraged the young activists to continue the conversations around gender-based violence in their communities.
"When you talk about the MeToo movement and go out into the world, don't let the distractions cloud what you know to be true: that this is a movement about survivors. This is a movement that will let the world know that is a global community. We can do the work to end sexual violence."