The ‘me too.’ movement lives at Girls for Gender Equity: A Joint Letter

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Dear Community,

It is with tremendous pride and clear vision that we share with you that we are housing the future of the ‘me too.’ movement at Girls for Gender Equity(GGE), building on the legacy of over fifteen years of GGE’s work to end gender-based violence. This announcement was covered in an exclusive by Teen Vogue published on May 11 that we shared soon after.

With your support over the last fifteen years (and counting!), GGE has centered the experiences of girls, young women, and LGBQAI/transgender/gender-nonconforming/non-binary youth of color, especially Black girls from low-income communities, within the racial and gender justice movements of the 21st century.

Until now, GGE has served as the fiscal sponsor for the ‘me too.’ movement. This summer we will transition to building a comprehensive program for this work within our organization. ‘Me too.’ only builds upon GGE’s years of work in the movement to end gender-based violence. We will work towards scale and impact over the next 18 months by:

  • Building a membership based, digital community that serves as a resource and activation hub for survivors to access tools to craft their own healing journey and resources and skill building opportunities to actively work to interrupt sexual violence
  • Developing a powerful base within the survivor/advocate community by providing unprecedented, on the ground access to individual and community healing resources through organizing, training, workshops and other tools that engage survivors as a global constituency working to transform the public systems that enable sexual violence

Tarana Burke’s work with young people led her to found the ‘me too.’ movement to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly young women of color from low- wealth communities, find pathways to healing. From the beginning, the ‘me too.’ movement existed to address both the dearth in resources for survivors of sexual violence and to build a community of advocates, driven by survivors, who will be at the forefront for creating solutions to interrupt sexual violence in their communities. Tarana is a visionary leader whose commitment to young women and girls of color impacted by child sexual abuse was unmatched from the time she joined GGE’s team.

Because of the viral #metoo hashtag, a vital conversation about sexual violence has been thrust into the national dialogue in the last year. What started as local, grassroots work has expanded to reach a global community of survivors from all walks of life and helped to de-stigmatize the act of surviving by highlighting the breadth and impact of a sexual violence worldwide. Our work continues to focus on helping those who need it find entry points for individual healing and galvanizing a broad base of survivors to disrupt the systems that allow for the global proliferation of sexual violence.

In addition, we are also working to reframe and expand the global conversation around sexual violence to speak to the needs of a broader spectrum of survivors including young people, queer, trans, and disabled folks, Black women and girls, and all communities of color. We want to build bridges for restorative accountability and want to implement strategies to sustain long term, systemic change.

We know that it’s because of a vast community of survivors, abolitionists, advocates, and social workers that we have a movement afoot. We look forward to linking arms and growing the work to end gender-based violence together.

Our movement is only expanding. Thank you for being on this journey with us.

Onwards,

Joanne N. Smith

Founder & Executive Director, Girls for Gender Equity

Tarana Burke

Founder, ‘me too.’ Movement, Senior Director, Girls for Gender Equity

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