New Year’s Eve will be especially woke this year.
Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, will push the Waterford Crystal button–beginning the 60-second countdown to release the glittery ball in Times Square on December 31.
“I am delighted to be participating in this momentous occasion,” Burke, 44, said in a press release. “I think it’s fitting to honor the Me Too movement as we close a historic year and set our intentions for 2018. With the new year comes new momentum to fuel this work and we won’t stop anytime soon.”
Burke created the “Me Too” campaign in 1997 and previously served as a youth organizer who founded Just Be Inc.
She tweeted her excitement on Monday evening as the news spread.
#MeToo was used as a unifying message to reveal the identities of men and women who were victims of sexual harassment and assault. Actress Alyssa Milano tweeted #MeToo in September after a lengthy expose explored numerous sexual misconduct allegations against mega producer Harvey Weinstein.
While most of the credit was given to Milano, activists did the important and necessary work to point out that the phrase had been co-opted and was in existence long before Milano’s tweet.
In the months following, thousands of victims have used the hashtag to come forward to tell their stories and reveal the identities of their abusers. Several high-profile celebrities have been outed along with Weinstein, including Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Russell Simmons.
In November Burke was named as one of Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year.” The “Silence Breakers” issue featured Burke along with Milano and several other celebrities and non-celebrities alike, who were victims of sexual assault.
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