Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, will be front and center to kick off New York City’s New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square.
The activist announced the news Monday on Twitter: “Yours truly will be pressing the Waterford crystal button to release the ball drop in Times Square on NYE,” she captioned a photo of the press release. “We are setting intentions for the new year.”
“I am delighted to be participating in this momentous occasion,” she said in the statement. “I think it’s fitting to honor the #MeToo 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 the Black woman who created the #MeToo campaign in 2007. It gained momentum this year following the sexual assault and misconduct reckoning that the nation is currently experiencing.
“It wasn’t built to be a viral campaign or a hashtag that is here today and forgotten tomorrow,” Burke, the founder of youth organization Just Be Inc., told Ebony. “It was a catchphrase to be used from survivor to survivor to let folks know that they were not alone and that a movement for radical healing was happening and possible.”
Tim Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance, says that the organization wanted to honor change-makers like Burke to be apart of the iconic ball drop.
“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,” he told amNewYork. “Tarana Burke’s courage and foresight have changed the world this year, and, we hope, forever.”