The University of British Columbia

UBC Connects SVG
presented by Santa J. Ono,
President and Vice-Chancellor

Tarana Burke

A movement that empowers: “Me too” and the role of empathy in healing and change

This event took place on Wednesday, March 6, 2019
at the the Kelowna Community Theatre (Map)
In partnership with alumni UBC

In partnership with the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan, and the UBC Students’ Union Okanagan

This event was made possible through the support of alumni UBC, UBC Equity & Inclusion Office, and the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office, UBC Okanagan


About the Talk:

The simple yet courageous ‘me too.’ Movement has emerged as a rallying cry for people everywhere who have survived sexual assault and sexual harassment – and Tarana Burke’s powerful, poignant story as creator of what is now an international movement that supports survivors will move, uplift, and inspire you.

Since #MeToo became a viral hashtag, Tarana has emerged as a global leader in the evolving conversation around sexual violence and the need for survivor-centred solutions. Her theory of using empathy to empower survivors is changing the way the nation and the world think about and engage with survivors.

Her talk is a call to action that is meant to inspire and motivate all who are affected by sexual violence- which is everyone. Tarana talks candidly about why sexual violence is so rampant in our culture and presents concrete ways that every day citizens can interrupt it. She also provides words of empowerment that lift up marginalized voices and enable survivors across all races, genders or classes to know that they are not alone.

Alison Conway, Professor, English and Gender and Women Studies, in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies and Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC Okanagan moderated a question and answer period with the audience.

About the Speaker:

Tarana Burke is a civil rights activist who has dedicated more than 25 years of her life to social justice. In 2006, she began using the phrase “Me Too” to help young women of colour who survived sexual abuse and assault. The phrase developed into a broader movement, following the 2017 use of #MeToo as a hashtag, becoming a global phenomenon that continues to raise awareness about sexual harassment, abuse and assault in society.

A sexual assault survivor herself, Tarana is now working under the banner of the ‘me too’ Movement to assist other survivors and those who work to end sexual violence. Her continued work with the ‘me too.’ Movement has earned her several honours. In 2017, Time named Burke, among a group of other prominent female activists dubbed “the silence breakers”, as the Time Person of the Year of being named. More recently, she was named The Root 100’s most influential person of 2018 and received the 2018 Ridenhour Prize for Courage.

Tarana is currently senior director of programs at Brooklyn-based Girls for Gender Equity. Her upcoming book, Where the Light Enters, discusses the importance of the ‘me too.’ Movement as well as her personal journey from “victim to survivor to thriver.”

Event Archive

A video and audio recording of the event will be available in the coming weeks.



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