The Purbalite

#MeToo campaign founder shares stories with Pittsburgh audience

photo+by+Taylor+Donahue
photo by Taylor Donahue

photo by Taylor Donahue

photo by Taylor Donahue

Zoe Vongtau and Taylor Donahue

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The local news outlet PublicSource welcomed Tarana Burke, activist, community organizer and founder of the #MeToo campaign, to speak in front of a crowd of hundreds on Tuesday night.

Although having been an activist for decades, Burke was thrust into the spotlight last October when actress Alyssa Milano shared her campaign #MeToo on Twitter in support of sexual violence survivors.

In her speech, Burke spoke about the origins and motivations of her activism, her feelings about heightened attention to her campaign, and religion.

“I have a choice between conflict and service, and conflict doesn’t serve me,” Burke said.

Since the onset of attention on her campaign and life, Burke said she has been faced with harassment, death threats and more, but always maintains a commitment to her work for the sake of its importance.

The community leader compared the state of sexual harassment advocacy from the ‘80s to the present, and from the Bronx to Pittsburgh, noting patterns that mandate societal and political policy attention.   

Questions prompted by the audience toward the end of the talk fostered a discussion about “radical community healing,” which she believes can only happen with mutually reciprocal discussions.

Burke said she envisions the future of the campaign for sexual violence survivors to welcome attentive allies and center the voices of women and girls of color.  

 

About the Writers
Zoe Vongtau, News Editor

Senior News editor Zoe Vongtau is a third-year staff member who does not want to say how much she spent at the merch booth at the Harry Styles concert. She will, however, spend hours recommending that you listen to Rex Orange County and try her salmon recipe. An activist by day, and napper by mid-day, she is a jack-of-all-trades. If you ever see her not wearing mustard yellow, contact your local authorities.

Taylor Donahue, Photo Editor

Senior Taylor Donahue is a third-year staff member and second-year photography editor for The Purbalite. She can be found waiting 20+ hours outside of a concert venue for literally any random concert.  She is never not complaining about how much money she doesn’t have because she spends too much on food and concerts. If you have any connections to getting free concert tickets, she would like to be your friend.

 

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#MeToo campaign founder shares stories with Pittsburgh audience