On April 19th, 2018, Tarana Burke held a press conference at Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall located at Michigan State University to discuss the #MeToo movement and its impact on survivors of sexual abuse.
As part of the “Transformative Justice Speaker Series”, Burke discussed the origins of the movement, which she originally found in 2006 and has since been working on to help sexual abuse victims heal and speak out. She spoke on topics such as intersectionality, changes within Michigan State University on how they address sexual assault cases, as well as her own journey on overcoming the trauma of sexual abuse.
Many who attended felt encouraged by Burke’s words in regards to the progression of the movement.
Inspired to have heard @TaranaBurke speak tonight @WhartonCenter. Thank you for encouraging people to use their voices, find joy and healing. Your work helping victims turn into survivors then thrivers is phenomenal!♥️
— Rosemarie Aquilina (@AquiRosemarie) April 20, 2018
Burke also further addressed criticism of the movement and the importance of language surrounding sexual abuse survivors. “We don’t talk enough about survival, every day, what survival looks like,” Burke said.
As a third-time survivor of sexual violence, Burke talked about her plight towards recovery and how joy has been a key in her healing process. Illustrating her emotional journey through depression allowed Burke to recreate happiness in her life and bring joy to herself and her daughter.
Burke emphasized that the movement has allowed survivors to heal and help themselves, when programs and services were not able to.
“My prayer is that somebody will be touched by this moment and this movement so much, and they’ll figure out some next thing that I never thought of, and then they’ll help another generation of people,” Burke said. She hopes that the #MeToo movement, or something even better down the line, will continue to inspire current and future generations and help heal survivors of sexual abuse.
This story was originally covered by The State News.
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