The year keeps getting better for #MeToo founder Tarana Burke.
Burke, who managed to turn two small words into a rallying cry against sexual harassment, will push the Waterford crystal button on the main stage in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. The push signals the ball drop that officially begins the 60-second countdown to the new year.
“I’m delighted to be participating in this momentous occasion,” Burke said. “I think it’s fitting to honor the #MeToo movement as we close a historic year.”
Burke, a onetime Philadelphia artist and fashion blogger, coined the phrase “Me Too” 10 years ago, when she was executive director of her nonprofit, Just Be Inc. Burke, a three-time survivor of sexual harassment, worked with many girls who had been victims of abuse and didn’t want them to feel alone.
Then one Sunday night in October, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted #MeToo as a gut response to the numerous allegations of sexual assault by producer Harvey Weinstein. Millions of sexual harassment survivors used the hashtag in their social media posts in the following weeks. As the year unfolded, many more high profile men, from television news anchors Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose to hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, were accused of harassing women they worked with.
This month, Time magazine called Burke and several other famous faces, including actors Rose McGowan and Terry Crews, the Silence Breakers, naming them its Persons of the Year.
We predict more big things for Burke in 2018.