Hi, my name is Kerri Kelly, and welcome to another episode of CTZN Podcast, where we're exploring a citizenship of solidarity and how we show up for each other. We're joined today by the amazing Tarana Burke, the original founder of the #MeToo movement. As we tease out the true meaning of #MeToo and what's beyond the hashtag.
So let me set the stage. My friend and colleague Amanda Stuermer contacted me about interviewing Tarana Burke for a video to be featured at the Muse Conference in Bend, Oregon. Of course I said yes. I'd been admiring Tarana Burke since #MeToo exploded last fall, and was super excited to get her take on the movement. But if that wasn't enough, Amanda called me a few days later to inform me that they had found a location for the shoot: Gloria Steinem's apartment. At that point, I nearly died. Two of the biggest feminist icons in one place, both trailblazers in their own right, but representing definitely parts of the movement, I knew this was going to be a conversation I would never forget.
And it was. As you will hear, we covered so much ground and really got to the heart of what #MeToo is all about. How the movement actually began over a decade ago in Alabama to support brown and black survivors of sexual violence, and how what we really need to teach our girls is who they are beyond what society tells them they should be, and how if we're not centering the voices of marginalized people, then we are doing the wrong work. The story of how #MeToo came to be is symbolic of that point. Tarana's efforts were almost erased when white popular women put #MeToo on the map.
But this is not just a movement for white cisgender women. It's about giving young people language, people who are survivors a way forward, and the community coming together to combat sexual assault. Tarana's vision is much bigger than hashtags and callouts. She believes #MeToo is a way to radicalize the notion of mass healing. While the recent iteration in social media has put attention on the perpetrators, Tarana is putting survivors at the forefront of this movement, and uplifting radical community healing as a social justice issue.
And on that, we could not agree more. If we are not healing, we are not transforming, and it starts with healing marginalized communities to achieve the inclusivity the #MeToo movement strives for. Tarana set this movement in motion well before the Harvey Weinstein scandal or the Alyssa Milano tweet or the Time's Up campaign. She is a visionary, a healer, a joyful revolutionary, and we need to follow her, because she is leading us towards the personal and collective healing that we all need to transform our communities and our country. Have a listen.
KK: Oh, hi.
KK: So we're here in New York City live, reporting back to all of our friends and family at Muse Conference, and I could not be more blessed to be here with the amazing Tarana Burke.
TB: Oh, thank you.
KK: The founder of the #MeToo movement. We're sitting intimately close to one another, so we've gotten to get to know each other a little bit over the last couple minutes, but I'm excited to be in this conversation with you.
So the last couple months have been, I'm sure, a whirlwind for you.
TB: It's an understatement, but yes.
KK: It's an understatement. Tell me one "holy crap, this is happening moment" that you've had over the last couple months that has just blown you away.
TB: There have been quite a few. Probably Time Magazine was the "holy crap" moment, because people ask about it all the time, but it's not a thing that you grow up wishing. I never met anybody that says, "One day, I want to be a Time Person of the Year!" Right, it's just not a thought. And even when we were nominated, because it was so new and some people knew that this was something that I started and other people didn't, I didn't even know that I would be a person that they would call on to represent it. And then Time was so laid back and kind of ... It was like, "We have this little project, we wanted to know if you wanted to participate."
TB: Yeah, and was like, okay. And they had called Alyssa too, and then we started putting our heads together when nomination, when the poll came out. We were like, could this be ...
TB: And even then, I was like, that's not going to happen. That's just not going to happen. And then it happened, and I was like ... Oh, yeah.
KK: Big deal.
TB: Yeah, it was a big deal.
KK: Big deal. So you set this movement in motion well before the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the Alyssa Milano tweet, the Time's Up campaign. Could you ever had imagined that it would get this big?
TB: No. Actually, I had a vision, and I found this written in a journal, 'cause I've just been pulling out all kinds of old stuff, that one day maybe it would be sort of a beacon of light for survivors. I thought that there would be bumper stickers and window decals and the world wouldn't necessarily know what it meant, but they'd see it everywhere, but we would know what it meant, and it meant, oh, that represents a safe space, or that's a person that's safe to talk to. That's a fellow survivor.
And that was sort of the vision, but also, we didn't live in a world where it was okay to talk about sexual violence publicly. We didn't have a national dialogue about it, so I just didn't have any space to dream about this.
KK: Well, and that was back in 2006, right, when this vision emerged.
KK: Can you tell us about that beginning? How did it start, who inspired it?
TB: Yeah, well, a couple of things. I've been organizing since I was a teenager, and there was always ... Not always, but for a while, there was sort of a nagging thing about, why don't we organize around issues around gender, or gender based violence? We didn't call it that, I didn't say those words, but I had a young person who was ... I used to run a leadership camp, and I had a young person at camp who really was trying to find space to confide in me about her experience with sexual violence, and I was 22 and still grappling with my own survivorship or whatever. And just didn't have it for her.
And that stayed with me for a very long time, because just even as a person who works with young people, you just want to get it right. It's just a thing, even as a parent, the thing you just don't want to do is mess up your kid. So it's a couple of things. So it was that, and then as my friend and I started doing this work with young people, and it felt like the girls needed a different kind of attention. It just ... Not necessarily, not even around sexual violence, just different. And we started doing that work with them, really specific work with girls, and again, every time we got a collection of young people together, young girls together, there was always this moment when they started talking about their experience, even if they didn't have the language. It was what we understood to be sexually violent, but they didn't know it.
And it just became a point when it was like, I want to do something. We have to do something. And I tried not to. I felt like it wasn't my lane. My lane is leadership development, I can teach you how to organize, I can teach you how to do a campaign in leadership development, but it just wasn't, I thought, my lane. But after trying to find resources in the community, trying to find people who felt as passionate about it or who could help in some kind of way, I couldn't find it. And that's the kind of heart you have-
KK: The need emerged.
TB: Yeah, the need emerged, and I was like ... Well, I know what I do have. I have experience, and I have a passion for this. And so I took that experience and I thought, "What would I have needed at 14 and 13? I'm a survivor. What could somebody have said to me or given me or gifted me with, or made me feel like when I was that age that could've made me change the trajectory of my life?"
KK: And what was that for you? Where did you get to with that?
TB: It was empathy. It was ... It feels like a simple thing, and sometimes when I talk about it now, I think, people think that's it.
TB: It's the start, though. I think one of the misconceptions even about this movement and the work is that #MeToo is a destination, and it's really a starting point.
KK: Yeah, yeah.
It's not just about the declaration and that's it. For me, it was these women who I met who were really vulnerable and transparent and shared their stories with me. So they gave me language, they write. I would say victim and they'd call me a survivor, and I was like, oh. Just little things like that starting changing how I thought about it, and it also ... It's like, these women who I met gave me permission to heal. They gave me an opening to start that journey.
And we don't ever think that kids need those things, or young people need those things. And even in our communities, we don't talk about healing. We don't talk about what we need. As an organizer, the thing you hear all the time is, you have to meet people where they are, and you have to meet their basic needs. And it's always food, clothing, and shelter.
TB: And I'm just like, we have other needs. Other really basic needs. Those are tangible needs. There are this wealth of intangible needs that we have, and I feel like it's unfair to ask somebody to get out in the street, fight against whatever. Police brutality, economic disparity, political blah blah blah, and we are cracked up in pieces on the inside, and nobody's taking care of those needs.
KK: I've heard you talk about that, the need for a movement that radicalizes this notion of mass healing. I love the way that sounds. And it does feel like that is missing from the mainstream #MeToo movement. We hear a lot about pushing back, speaking truth to power, holding people accountable, but we don't hear a lot about healing.
TB: Healing. This is a movement about healing, period. And it's about healing in two ways. Individual healing and community healing. And the pushback on all of that is a part of community healing. We have to deal with both at the same time. For me, and I think ... I'm glad you said mainstream, because there's this false narrative that's existing, that #MeToo is about all these things that it's not. Not even from my perspective in terms of the body of work that existed. Even from the first tweet that Alyssa put out, she literally said, "Say this thing if you've experienced this thing."
KK: In solidarity.
TB: Yeah, it was about a declaration, about a statement to show the gravity of the issue. Even before #MeToo even went viral, the women who came forward around Harvey Weinstein, those women didn't call for anything. These are women who were trying to find a space to tell their truth. They literally just told their truth.
KK: Which is a part of it, but not the whole story.
TB: It's not the whole story, but the idea that this is a movement to take down powerful men and we have targets on men's backs, that's a corporate media made thing. That's not real. This is about healing. There are, for all of the people that you see in the media every day and all of the things you hear about #MeToo in the media, I get ... I want to say thousands, 'cause it feels like that, but definitely hundreds of letters and emails and DMs and social media messages from people who are in pain, who have held this thing and have been holding onto this thing for their dear life for God knows how long, and they're like, "Okay, help me. What do I do with this?"
That's what this movement is about. It's about helping people understand that there are several entry points to a healing journey, and I can't tell people what their journey is, I can't teach them how to heal, but I can certainly help people find entry points to start their journey.
KK: Well, and I love what you said about how this is the starting point, and when we think about healing, healing's hard.
KK: And it's a long journey-
TB: It's forever.
KK: It's forever, and it's emergent. And so what do you think are the components? What do we need to build in order to tend to this mass movement of healing? Because it feels like the mainstream #MeToo movement is predominantly online. What's beyond the hashtag that will allow for this sort of relational healing process?
TB: I think it's online and offline. I think for us, when I talk about the #MeToo movement, I talk about it from the perspective of the work, the body of work that we'll carry. And that is created. Even online, there's not a space that you can go to right now, if you went to Google or whatever, that helps you heal if you are a survivor of sexual violence. And I think about all the different ways that we have these quirky existences, and then we craft this way that we get through life.
TB: And it feels really strange, it can make you feel abnormal, it can make you feel all these different things, and until you find a community of people that are like you. And so I want to create a community, an online community, where people can go and feel safe and feel protected.
And so I talk all the time about ... I have a terrible memory, and that is directly related to me being a survivor, because I spent many years trying not to remember things.
And crafting it so that I don't go certain places. It's like a maze, I always think of it like ... Oh, can't go down that corner, gotta turn this way. I've been really intentional about that, and as a result, I have a terrible memory. People don't understand that.
Yeah, and it's related to that wound.
TB: Unless you've been through this thing. Right, right. So you need to ... And when I tell that, I always get survivors who are like, "Oh my gosh, that's ... I know exactly what you mean." So we need a space where you can go find information, where you can go find like-minded people and really feel community online. But also, we need a space online where people can be active, and so to get the guidance to do what you have to do on the ground.
One of the ways that worked, happened for us as we were doing this, once we started, was creating healing circles. And so the hope is to teach the world how to create healing circles in their own community, 'cause essentially, we want to fill in the gaps for all the people who don't have access, if you don't have therapy or you don't want to go to therapy, or whatever the various reasons are, giving people access to the tools they need to craft their own healing journey.
And if you want to be active in a community, people need action steps. So for me when I think about it, I think about three things that have to happen. The first thing is narrative change, which we can get to, but really changing the mainstream popular narrative about what this movement is. And then building the thing that people need. It takes time, though. I spend the first part of, the first few months, feeling like ... just in a frenzy, trying to respond to everything and not really knowing how long we had. Everybody I know that does this work has a sense of urgency, like, we don't know how long they're going to let us talk about this.
KK: The moment is finite.
TB: Yeah, and so I spent the first few months just really trying to move at the pace of pop culture. It's impossible.
KK: Yeah. Not the pace of trust.
TB: Yeah. It's impossible.
TB: And so right around ... After Time Magazine, there kind of was a crescendo, and I was like, okay, I just have to pull back. I have to do what I know, and I have been doing this work ... Not just this work around sexual violence, but the work in service of people my whole life. This is now how we work, this is now how we're effective. I wasn't being thoughtful or strategic, and so I had to take a step back, I had to pull in other people that I trust, and create a plan. And let people know, I know you want something right away, but you have to wait, because we want to craft something that's going to work and it's going to last and it's going to be around and sustainable.
KK: Yeah, and healing, it takes time-
TB: It takes time.
KK: -to build that kind of movement.
TB: And it's forever.
KK: I want to talk about the narrative, because you brought it up. And in a lot of ways, the way that this happened for you is symbolic of the thing I think you're naming. Like, we all know the story of the Alyssa Milano tweet, and some of these statistics blow my mind. 24 hours later, the hashtag had been used on Twitter 825,000 times, and 4.7 million had used it in 12 million posts. And in a way, though, it took off without you.
TB: Oh yeah. Not in a way, it absolutely took off without me, yeah.
KK: And for how long, 'cause I remember hearing about it, and then hearing the voices of Alicia Garza, people intervening and saying, "Hey, hey, wait up. This is the work of Tarana Burke."
TB: Yeah, it was really a day later. It just was sort of a slow burn, so October 15, I'm laying in my bed on Sunday.
KK: Same. Normal day, normal Sunday.
TB: Yeah. I decided I had to go to church, so when my phone went off, I had one friend who sent me a message and was like, "Hey, congratulations! This is really great, I'm seeing #MeToo everywhere." And I was like, what? What do you mean? 'Cause what people don't know is that I had been planning and plotting with all these people who do work with me to make a big splash around #MeToo this coming April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and so I saw the post and I was like, what is this?
And I'm 44, and I'm not a Twitter person. And so I called my 20 year old daughter.
KK: Call the people who know.
TB: Right, and I was like, find this thing, find it. I can't, I don't ... 'Cause I went on Facebook and I didn't see it. 'Cause, you know, that's where we live.
KK: Yeah. I'm a Gen X-er as well.
TB: Yeah, you know. And my daughter came and my daughter was like, "Mom, it's on Twitter." And literally for a day, for most of the day, I sat there. First I was panicked, like complete panic, 'cause I was like, okay. Nobody's going to believe that I have been doing this for the longest time, that we've used this phrase, that this means something. And I'm a black woman, this is not coming from black Twitter or the black community. I'll just be erased. That was my initial panic. And it was really panic.
And so I called my friends and I started, like ... What do I do? This is my life's work. And my friends are like, "Calm down, we don't know what's going to happen." And as the day went on, it was more and more and more people. The feeling of, that feeling just intensified. So my daughter found it on the internet for me, and on Twitter, the way you can watch just a hashtag ... And so I started watching the hashtag obsessively.
KK: Oh my God.
TB: And meanwhile, I'm talking to my friends, and my one friend said, "You have to calm down. You've been doing this for years. You have years of receipts. There's no way people are going to not know it's you." I was like, "Oh, I know, but who's going to believe it?" Blah blah blah.
And so I kept watching the hashtag, and somewhere about, I don't know, 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning, 'cause I really was obsessing, I was still watching. I was laying in bed. I would go away and come back and it's like, people are still saying it, oh my gosh. And so ... But I clicked on somebody's story, and it was somebody's Twitter thing, and her story popped up. It was a longer story, I don't know how she had attached it or something. And I don't know who this person is, meaning I don't know the race or anything, the age. And I started reading the story, and I was completely convicted. And I had this moment of, I've been spending the whole day trying to figure out how I was going to save my work, and my work was happening right in front of me, all day long. It was right there.
And so I was like, oh my gosh, Tarana. I needed to take a step back. I mean, my fear was real. I think that the fear of thinking that my work would be erased-
KK: It is historical. Right, that happens all-
TB: Right, we had evidence that that would happen. But what I know is that I have spent my life ... I made a decision about my life really early on, and so this was one of those moments where you have to say, it's like where the rubber meets the road. So I had to decide, am I going to be in conflict, or am I going to be in service?
TB: And I had to be in service. And not just for my own sake, but also the other thing that was happening was that the panic was about my work, but it's also like, I'm watching hundreds of thousands of women publicly disclose, and there's no container for them to process.
TB: There was not somebody, something chasing the tweet saying, "Hey, if you're saying #MeToo, call this number, or let me help you out."
KK: Or, here's some tools.
TB: Here's some tools. There was nothing like that, and I know that I have those things. So I have to insert myself in this conversation, but not from a place of, this is mine, I want to save it, but, if you want to do this, let's jump in. If you want to do this, I need to tell y'all something. There's an idea behind this. Nobody was talking about ... These words, the reason why these words are resonating with you, because you're feeling a sense of empathy from somebody else. There's a connection happening that you didn't know you needed until you got it. And somebody needed to say that.
And it worked. I'm still, every day, like, wow. Oh, wow, they listened.
KK: And thank God you brought in that piece of, okay, now, what do we do with this, so that we can sustain this work and so that we can learn how to take care of each other.
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KK: One of the things that I've heard you say related to this is that if we don't center the voices of marginalized people, then we are doing the wrong work. And I think that's why your original story is so significant, because it's totally typical of the mainstream media to focus all of the attention on white, high profile people and places, and exclude and erase women of color. And so, what is the cost or the impact of not centering voices and stories of those who have been most impacted?
TB: I mean, what we've seen historically is that when marginalized people, when people of color or queer people or trans people or disabled people are not at the core, at the center, they get lost. They get pushed to the margins, that's how they actually become marginalized. And what we also know is that when we focus on those groups, everybody else benefits. Trickle down doesn't work. If we start at the top and we just hope that some of this goodness will just fall on these people who desperately need it, it'll never happen. But if we build from the bottom up, we build this foundation, then everybody gets served.
And so that's why it's the wrong work, if we're not starting with these groups and saying, look who needs access, who needs the most access, who needs the most resources, then you find all these other people will also benefit. It's not just, it's not from a selfish place at all. It's from a place of actually thinking about everybody. If you want to have the most impact among people across all race, class, gender lines, then you have to start with the people that are often pushed to the margins.
KK: And I've also heard you say something like, the #MeToo message might be the same, but the response is different.
TB: Oh yeah, sexual violence knows no race, class, or gender, but the response absolutely does, and we can see that all the time. We're looking at it right now in the media. So we, as America, just as American people, we are trained to respond to the vulnerability of white women. It's just historically how we know-
KK: How we're wired.
TB: How we're wired, right, how we're socialized in the country. And so it's not surprising, and that's not to take away from it, because I really want to be careful about the women who came forward around Harvey Weinstein, around all these other people, are survivors of sexual violence. And not sexual harassment in the workplace. Like, sexual violence, not to say that it's not both violent. So I don't want to diminish them, but they're also not standing up and saying, "Make it about me! Only talk about me!" They're not doing that.
The media does that, and they do it because we exist in a culture that elevates celebrity in all ways. And so in some ways, we have to sort of examine and interrogate the way we elevate celebrity to a certain status so that they only matter.
TB: I've met some of these women. They are absolutely not trying to keep ... Not all of them ... keep the attention on them.
KK: Some of them.
TB: Maybe. But for the most part, these are just people, they're just women trying to have the same thing that everybody else is trying to have. But again, they are privileged in many ways, and so the other thing I always say is that privilege is not inherently wrong to me, necessarily. Some people may say it is. What I shouldn't even say, it's not inherently wrong. I don't think it's going anywhere. And so it's really about how you use it. If you don't use your privilege in service of other people, that's when it becomes problematic.
KK: Yeah, yeah.
TB: So if you know that the media is going to focus all attention on you, or if you know that you're going to be the focal point and that other people have been pushed to the margins, it is up to those of us who have privilege in various ways to shine that light and say, wait, we need to bring these people in.
KK: And I love the fact that the #MeToo movement, in many ways, especially the piece that you're bringing to it, is affirming that our healing, our wellbeing, our liberation, our bound ... Like, that empathy and resonance that you're talking about, we need each other. And so if we can have that understanding, then we can't not center ...
TB: Exactly. Exactly.
KK: I know you've worked a ton with girls. And that was how this work began, correct?
TB: Yeah, that's how the work, yeah.
KK: And I heard you once speak about the different between self-worth and self-esteem, which I think is such a great distinction, because there is what we believe about ourselves, and then there's what we're taught we should be. Can you speak a little bit about that?
TB: Yeah. When we started doing the work, when Just BE Inc., the organization that gave birth to #MeToo, was founded, it was because, again, I felt like the girls that we were working with in our community needed a different kind of attention. And whenever, and this is across race, whenever people do programs with girls and think about stuff with girls, it's always these =kinds of baseline things they do. We've gotta teach them etiquette, and it's always like, we're going to build their self-esteem.
And what I know, and particularly in our community, in communities of color, people ... I can say to you all day, you are beautiful, you are amazing, you're intelligent, you're gifted, and all of these things. And then I'm going to release you into a world that's going to tell you something absolutely different.
KK: Yeah, and it profits off of that.
TB: Right. So you have these girls who, I can say this to you, you trust me, I love you, you know I love you, but the world doesn't also always feel like that. So you don't see yourself, you don't ... In movies or TV or radio, you don't see yourself represented well, and so for me, it was about ... These girls need more than just self-esteem building. They need to be grounded in a sense of self-worth, so that when the world tries to tell you these things, you can identify the lie. And you know the truth about who you are. And for us, it was about giving them historical context. Why does the world think of you this way? And when we talk about etiquette, it was about ... Well, it was sort of a play on it. But it was like, who do you want to be in the world, how do you want to show up? And once you decide that, what are the tools you need to do that? How does your life need to ... What trajectory do you need to be on to get to this place, to show up exactly how you decide?
And it was also, the world also tells girls that everything is qualified. You can't just be worthy, you have to be the fastest or the prettiest or the smartest or something in order to earn that worthiness. And again, it's double down for girls of color, and so for us, it was like ... The reason why it's called Just BE is because we wanted you to just be. Just exist, to know that you're worthy literally because you exist in the world.
KK: And this feels so core to the healing that you were talking about. What we believe about ourselves informs whether or not we feel the courage to speak up, to acknowledge our story, to acknowledge our survivorhood, and to speak truth to power, to hold people accountable.
TB: All of those things come from-
KK: To me, all of that is interconnected.
TB: That's right. It all flows from the same place. You have to ... That worthiness is almost like a muscle that you have to keep exercising, and it has to keep being fed as well.
KK: By other people.
TB: By other people, and sometimes you can't get it from other people, so part of what our work was to help them build a toolbox. We have these -isms that ... I'm terrible, I created this thing and I can never remember them, but they were like, just be patient, just be kind, just be resilient. And our last one was just be you, and part of it said, don't be afraid if that's a different thing at different times, because inherently, you'll always be who God made you, and when all else fails, just be.
TB: Just stand in who you know that, who you are. Nobody tells our children that, nobody tells adults that, right?
TB: But at least adults have the benefit of going out and finding somebody or some book to read or some guru to follow, whatever. Young people don't ever get that, and young people in low wealth communities absolutely don't get validated in that way.
KK: Yeah, and it does feel like that syndrome of scarcity and you are not worthy is so pervasive in our culture-
TB: Oh, yeah.
KK: -for women and girls in particular, that to shift that mindset within each and every one of us could actually shift the story and the narrative and the culture. And I also just want to acknowledge how much I love that ... It feels like your work is as much about what we're doing on the outside, to serve one another and to heal together, and what we're doing within ourselves.
TB: 'Cause it has to happen at the same time.
KK: I really, really believe that you cannot do, we can't do the work alone, and so we have to build community, and if we're going to build community, we have to be in support of each other, in all kind of different ways. Those two things have to happen in tandem. I've seen so many times, and we separate the two, and it just doesn't work.
TB: Yeah, it can't be polarized.
TB: Yeah. It can't be, you do one thing at one time and you do ... It has to be simultaneous.
KK: It has to be simultaneous.
KK: So I just want to acknowledge that in my own unique way, I ... When this emerged, this movement, I located myself in it, as have millions of women and men. Everyone's being impacted by this conversation.
KK: And I think I want to get to ... What do you want, for people who identify with #MeToo, they use the hashtag, they're claiming it as a part of their identity, they're claiming to be a part of this movement, what do you want them to be called to do? What do you hope people are called to, 'cause to your point before, the movement has many messages, and so I want to give you space to be very clear about, this is what we should be called to do for each other.
TB: Yeah. I feel like if you are identified with this movement and you say I'm a part of the #MeToo movement, that means that you've made a decision to, one, be committed to interrupting sexual violence, and it doesn't have to be out on the street, in these big bold ways. But in all the ways that you can, in your capacity, you are committed to interrupting sexual violence.
And I think the other part of that is that you are committed to a healing journey, both personal and in the community. I think those are the main components of being a part of this movement. We want people to ... It's almost like a la carte. I want you to be able to find the different tools that you need and pieces you need to craft together your healing journey. That's what being in this movement is about, it's about entry-
KK: 'Cause it's not one size fits all.
TB: No, not at all. But there are so many different ... The things that work for me may not work for you, but you seeing that I'm on this journey lets you know that it's possible. It'll look completely different, but it's possible. And so those are the components, I think, of people really being a part of this.
And it's not just for women, which ... I try to be clear about that. We will always be at the forefront and the face of it, because women largely are the people who deal with sexual violence. But I think it's so odd that we say one in four girls will experience sexual violence by the time they're 18. One in six boys will experience sexual violence by the time they're 18, which means that there are scores of adult survivors.
When we first started this, people were like, "Men can't say #MeToo." This is not the Women's March. I'm not saying that to be disparaging.
KK: Yeah, totally.
TB: I'm saying that this is very clearly a woman's issue in some ways, but this is a human issue. It's pervasive in ways that we have not even thought about, and boys are included in that, queer people are included in that. Trans people are included in that.
KK: Big time.
TB: So we have to think about the spectrum of people as well.
KK: Yeah, yeah. What gives you hope?
TB: My daughter. And I know that's sort of a canned answer, but my daughter has blossomed in this moment in just a way that I just didn't see before. Realizing, watching them ... My daughter's pronouns are "they", and watching them talk about their experience, what has been living in the home and watching me do this work all these years, and how it's affected them, and my daughter's represented me at stuff I couldn't go to, has gone and talked-
TB: And I just have been like, this is what I'm talking about. And honestly, it's my daughter, and it's that age group, too. I've been traveling around, talking to these young college students, and they get it. And they get it like that.
TB: And they have a ... Every generation is sort of like, well, this generation does know so much more, though, 'cause they have so much more access. Their analysis is on point. You don't have to dig in and explain a whole bunch of stuff, and they're like, healing? Check, got it. What do we need to do?
KK: Yeah, yeah.
TB: So that makes me hopeful.
KK: Yeah. I am so grateful for you. I am so grateful for the courage that you had and the foresight to see this movement before people even knew it was needed, and I'm grateful for the way in which you are stewarding it to keep it on course, and to really center healing and inclusion so that everyone can get well together. So, thank you so much.
TB: Yeah, let's get well together.
Yes, I love that.
We are reimagining a citizenship where everyone belongs, and that calls us to fight for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US. Among them, 800,000 young people are living in fear because of the DACA crisis. An attack on immigrants is an attack on all of us. We need to fight to keep our families together and ensure the wellbeing of everyone. Please make it a practice of your citizenship to demand permanent protection, dignity, and respect for our undocumented communities. You can learn more about how to engage at fairimmigration.org and unitedwaydream.org.
While this podcast is coming to an end, our work in the world is just beginning. This week's call to action is to invest in healing. Not just your own individual healing, but your healing and relationship to the healing of the community as a whole. Our healing and liberation are bound, and it is our responsibility to take care of ourselves and one another. To learn more about Tarana Burke's work and get engaged, check out metoomovement.org.
Big gratitude to Tarana Burke for sharing her story and for all the amazing work she does in the world, and special thanks to Amanda Stroomer and the World News for sharing this footage with us.
Thanks for being here today. Special thanks to our producer, Trevor Exter, and DJ Drez for the amazing soundtrack. You can check out his music at djdrez.com.
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