Leaders in ‘Me Too’ movement speak at Gonzaga University

Creators of the Me Too movement and the Pulitzer Prize journalist who exposed Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein for decades of alleged sexual harassment, assault and cover ups, spoke before a crowd on hundreds of people at Gonzaga University on Friday.

Tarana Burke, a social justice activist and sexual assault survivor, started using the phrase “me too” in 2006 as a way to connect with other sexual violence victims.

“A s pervasive as sexual violence is, it’s also deeply isolating and people- I hear all the time, I hear people say: “I thought I was the only one, I didn’t know this happened to other people,” said Tarana Burke.

Burke said the phrase me too launched into the spotlight after Ronan Farrow, an investigative journalist for The New Yorker, exposed Harvey Weinstein in a series of powerful reports.

During the event, Farrow reflected on his reporting and why he worked tirelessly digging for facts and interviewing victims for the story.

“It was very clear to me there was a really deep vein of untold stories about sexual violence in this country and about the systems deployed, by the most powerful men in America to shut up survivors of sexual violence,” said Ronan Farrow.

On Friday, Farrow explained how he never imagined his reports would be the catalyst for the me too movement.

Just this week, Farrow received a Pulitzer for his work on the Weinstein story.

“I can’t take credit for any of this -this is about brave sources who came to me. And then over many, many months of painstaking conversations, decided, yeah-I’ll risk it all to tell this story,” said Farrow.

Burke says the me too movement is about creating community and creating a culture shift in how we sexual violence in our country.

“I t’s not a magic wand, it doesn’t help everybody. Sometimes people don’t need to hear me too, sometimes people just want to give their story and be heard, but for so many people it’s about community . . . we finally get to come out of the shadows, no one wants to live in silence and in the dark,” said Burke.