Tarana BurkeVariety's Power of Women presented

Tarana Burke Says #MeToo Isn't About 'Taking Down Powerful Men'

Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, was honored Friday at Variety‘s Power of Women event in New York.

“These past six months have been like something out of a movie,” the activist said during her acceptance speech. “Every day that I wake up and folks still hear what I have to say, I’m really surprised and motivated. I could’ve never dreamed that I’d have lived to see a time where we were having a sustained, national dialogue about sexual violence in this country, but here we are.”

The activist used her time on stage to speak about what the movement is really about, saying that although some think it’s about “naming and shaming, about taking down powerful men…they’re wrong.” Instead, she argued that women are using this time to form a community of survivors and heal.

Burke, who started Me Too in 2006, emphasized that the recent wave of sexual harassment allegations and call for women’s empowerment is more than just a moment, and that “movements are long, and they are built over time. Movements are made from moments.” She also revealed she recently sat down with Billie Jean King to talk about the future of the movement, and that the tennis legend donated $100,000 in support of the organization.

She ended her speech with a rallying cry. “If you are ready to change the world, if you are ready to join this movement, if you are ready to do the work that’s necessary to end sexual violence, I can only leave you with these two words: Me too.”

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