Tarana Burke is taking awareness to the yard this spring with the announcement of her HBCU tour. The founder of the groundbreaking MeToo movement took to Instagram to announce the events, which will begin in April.
"I’m so excited to finally announce this!! This has been a vision of mine for many, many years," Burke captioned her post. "Every year during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) college campuses around the country turn their focus towards dealing with sexual violence but very little activity happens on HBCU campuses during SAAM even though we know it’s happening."
The 45-year-old activist continued her post by noting she spoke at 70 schools during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in 2018 but only visited two HBCUs. Teaming up with Professional Black Girl web series creator Yaba Blay, Burke plans to "bring this right to the yard and provide a space for HBCU students to talk, vent, strategize and heal."
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I’m SO EXCITED to finally announce this!! This has been a vision of mine for many, many years. Every year during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) college campuses around the country turn their focus towards dealing with sexual violence but very little activity happens on HBCU campuses during SAAM even though we know it’s happening! I spoke at more than 70 schools in 2018 (I know, right! ????) and only two HBCUs ???? and I wanted to change that. This year I teamed up with my girl @fiyawata (the original @professionalblackgirl) to bring this right to the yard and provide a space for HBCU students to talk, vent, strategize and heal. ???? Sponsored in part by @lifetimetv and @the.root #Repost @metoomvmt ・・・ We are so excited to announce that in exactly two weeks, we’ll be kicking off the ‘me too.’ HBCU Tour featuring ‘me too.’ founder Tarana Burke (@taranajaneen), scholar Dr. Yaba Blay (@fiyawata) and special guests! This multi-city initiative is centered around creating safety and accountability for students, faculty and administrators. We have partnered with some of the country’s finest institutions – Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), to have real conversations about sexual assault and consent on campus. Each tour stop includes a strategic convening, a workshop for male-identifying individuals, and a fireside chat featuring a special guest. To get updates about specific stops, register using the link in our bio. #metooHBCU #metoo #metoomvmt #believesurvivors
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The organization, which was founded in 2006, supports Black women and girls along with other women of color who are survivors of sexual violence. The work has created a national dialogue and opened a global conversation to create awareness around their healing.
“While we are working in service to survivors of sexual violence from all walks of life, it's always been about Black people, particularly Black women and girls. This tour is important because we know that Black women make up the majority of the student population at HBCUs," Burke said in a statement to Blavity. "The college tour is an extension of our work to center marginalized communities in the movement to end sexual violence wherever it exists.”
Earlier in the year, Burke released a series of public service announcements about sexual assault at the Sundance Film Festival. As Blavity previously reported, the four short films feature survivors like actor Terry Crews bravely telling their story of sexual assault over an animated visual.
Burke's tour, which is sponsored in part by Lifetime and The Root, is free to the public with stops at Howard University, the Atlanta University Center located at Clark Atlanta University, Alabama State University, North Carolina Central University and Florida A&M University.
Every tour stop includes a panel discussion, strategic sessions with campus leaders, a workshop for men and a special fireside chat with Burke and Blay.
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