Tarana Burke, the creator of the #MeToo campaign which helps victims and allies stand up against sexual violence, has been selected to kick-off the 60-second countdown to bring in the New Year in Times Square on Dec. 31, reports Blavity.
Throughout the year, #MeToo’s social media campaign gained notoriety due to numerous sexual assault scandals that have inundated Hollywood.
It’s worth noting Burke started the initiative over a decade ago in efforts to raise awareness for women of color and their grapple with sexual assault. Initially, the campaign regained notoriety this year because of actress Alyssa Milano who invited Twitter users to share their stories of sexual assault including the phrase, “me too.”
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
Still, this unknowingly excluded Burke from the conversation. Despite the potential snub, Milano gave Burke credit for starting the campaign on Good Morning America earlier this fall.
“Initially I panicked,” Burke told The New York Times. “I felt a sense of dread, because something that was part of my life’s work was going to be co-opted and taken from me and used for a purpose that I hadn’t originally intended.”
Thankfully, the Harlem based activist is getting the recognition she deserves. “I am delighted to be participating in this momentous occasion,” Burke said via 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.”