The founder of the #MeToo movement was in Winston-Salem Tuesday. Tarana Burke was a speaker at Wake Forest University, where she shared the story of "Me Too" before it went viral.

Burke was working as a community organizer in Alabama when she saw a need.

“I'm a survivor of sexual violence, but more than that, I was in a community that was ravaged by sexual violence. I witnessed it through young people, through children," she says. "It was clear to me that there needed to be some kind of community response to what we were seeing." 

So in 2006, she created Just Be Inc., an organization to empower young women who experience sexual violence. "People need a space to be able to tell our truth,” Burke says.

After feedback from across the nation, Burke expanded the program to adults and began using the phrase “me too” to spread awareness.

The hashtag went viral in the midst of the Harvey Weinstein scandal last year.

When asked to weigh in on allegations of sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Burke says she supports the women who have come forward with their accusations and hopes the outcome will help shed light on systemic issues that the #MeToo movement is trying to address.

“What I've learned in the last 25 years is the depth and breadth of sexual violence in this country and around the world. We don't really deal with the fullness of it," she says. "We've dealt with it in pockets and small pieces, we've dealt with individual wrongdoers or bad actors, but we haven't dealt with the root causes.”

Burke says the movement's mission today is the same as always – to create a global community of survivors of sexual violence committed to healing and action.

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