Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, will kick off Times Square’s iconic New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York City.
“I am delighted to be participating in this momentous occasion,” Burke said in a statement shared on Twitter. “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 is a social activist who has worked with victims of sexual assault for more than a decade. Following sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, Burke and actress Alyssa Milano launched the #MeToo movement on Twitter in October to encourage victims to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment.
The hashtag has since unleashed a torrent of accusations and confessions all over the world, leading to a wave of resignations and dismissals mostly of men accused of abusing positions of power.
“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, told amNewYork. “Tarana Burke’s courage and foresight have changed the world this year, and, we hope, forever.”
Last year, an estimated 2 million people flocked to Times Square to celebrate the New Year.