Burke started the movement a decade ago to bring awareness to sexual assault victims in underprivileged communities. Last year, women in Hollywood started using the same moniker to speak out about their experiences with sexual harassment following the revelation of rampant assault and harrassment by Harvey Weinstein.
Since then, women and men around the world have been coming forward to publicly and privately share their stories of sexual assault, abuse, harassment, and misconduct at the hands of powerful figures.
Union says that when she first met Burke she found a kindred spirit willing to take on the fight of advocating for rape and sexual assault survivors. The “Being Mary Jane” actress has been a vocal activist in the movement, having shared her story of being raped at gunpoint while working at a Payless shoe store when she was 19. Her book “We’re Going to Need More Wine” came out weeks after the Weinstein scandal broke.
“When you’ve been sidelined for so long, it’s exhilarating to know that such a powerful voice is finally breaking through,” Union wrote of Burke. “Tarana will continue to do this work, but the stage will be bigger and the microphone turned all the way up.”
Union added: “She will inspire legislation and new crops of voters. She will sway old voters. She will open eyes. She’s not even going to bring more seats to the table—she’s going to turn the table over and build a new one.”
You can read the entire essay, here.