“I am delighted to be participating in this momentous occasion,” Burke said in a statement. “I think it’s fitting to honor the Me Too movement as we close a historic year and set our intentions for 2018. With the new year comes new momentum to fuel this work and we won’t stop anytime soon.”
Burke’s “Me Too” campaign gained traction this year after sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein began to surface. Actress Alyssa Milano used the #MeToo hashtagto encourage women to share their own stories of sexual harassment and assault, which was shared more than 100,000 times in its first 24 hours.
Earlier this month Time also revealed it would be honoring “The Silence Breakers” — all the women, including Burke, who spoke out against sexual assault and harassment this year — as 2017’s “Person of the Year.”
#MeToo played a key role in encouraging women and all those who’ve experienced sexual misconduct to share their voices and stand up for themselves, so the fact that Burke was chosen as the special guest by the event’s co-organizers is sending a powerful message.
“New Year’s is a time when we look at the most significant cultural and political moments of the last year, when we look for inspiration by honoring and giving a global platform to those who have made a difference,” Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said in the release.
“Tarana Burke’s courage and foresight have changed the world this year, and, we hope, forever,” he added.
As the activist tweeted alongside her Twitter announcement, “We are setting intentions for the new year.