Tarana Burke and Ronan Farrow bring national conversation to Gonzaga’s campus

Tarana Burke and Ronan Farrow bring national conversation to Gonzaga’s campus
The Gonzaga Bulletin 2018

Conversations about sexual violence did not fade once the Gonzaga University-sponsored week dedicated to awareness ended. If anything, they got louder.

This can be attributed to the fact that, on Friday at 7 p.m., Tarana Burke and Ronan Farrow spoke at the McCarthey Athletic Center for the Presidential Speaker Series.

Burke is the activist responsible for the “Me Too” movement that, after its creation in 2006, went viral in Octoboer 2017. She is currently the senior director at Girls for Gender Equity.

Farrow is the journalist who exposed the acts of sexual violence committed by Harvey Weinstein in a series of pieces for The New Yorker.

Burke and Farrow noted how their work is informed by their professional and personal experiences.

“I am a survivor of sexual violence and a longtime activist and organizer,” Burke said. “I spent a lot of years trying to figure out how to marry the two while feeling that it was an issue that was affecting a community.”

In her work years ago, Burke encountered a young woman who opened up about the sexual violence she had experienced. Burke realized that, as a fellow survivor, she was not able to say “me too” when the young woman shared her story.

“The moment I didn’t say that, I realized those words are good enough,” Burke said.

Likewise, Farrow’s reporting draws on his previous work and his own lived reality.

“I had been doing investigative stories about untold aspects of American life and particularly focusing on voices that don’t get heard enough and vulnerable people who are silenced because of abuses of power in various industries,” Farrow said.

He personally witnessed the impacts of sexual violence within his family.

Read more on The Gonzaga Bulletin’s website.