EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In 2006, Tarana Burke kick started “Me Too,” a grassroots campaign raising awareness of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Since then, the movement has blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon but Tarana says since the campaign started, the narrative has changed.
“The reason why people acknowledge that this as a movement is because millions of people came forward and said ‘me too’ but the only thing the media focuses on is are who’s being taken down or what the new norms are for interacting with each other and things like that and there’s a bigger picture and a bigger story out there,” said Burke; founder of “Me Too.”
Tarana says she wants survivors of sexual violence to recognize that they’re not alone and she’s specifically here at Michigan State University to provide resources for those who need a pathway to heal.
“If you talk to survivors, 9 times out of 10 they will say the first 5 things that they want have nothing to do with the perpetrator. They want to be seen, they want to be healed, they want to be believed, they want a community…they’ll name a bunch of things before they get to what they want done to the perpetrator and so we have to listen to what survivors are actually saying they want,” Burke stated.
For those who listened in at Thursday’s event, they say Tarana’s words really resonate with them.
“I hope that she inspires action, I think we’re all interested in the movement and now it’s time that we really band together and organize and ensure that positive change,” said Evelyn Maidlow from East Lansing.
Tarana says in order to move forward at MSU, it’s important to first recognize the systemic problems within the university and actually listen to survivors in order for healing to happen.