MeToo Founder at S.B.U.

The local nonprofit youth organization I-Tri has teamed up with Long Island Against Domestic Violence, New York State Assemblywoman Christine Pellegrino, and Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn to bring Tarana Burke, the #MeToo founder, to Stony Brook University on Sunday. The event, which is free to the public, will be dedicated to building support for the safety and empowerment of women and girls who live and work in Suffolk and Nassau Counties. 

According to a press release from I-Tri, an East Hampton program that fosters empowerment of middle school-age girls through triathlons, a series of meetings will be held with legislators, the public, and students, to discuss how to best advocate eliminating the sexual abuse that affects women and children living and working on Long Island.

The day will begin with a student breakfast with Ms. Burke, a civil rights advocate who promotes empowerment through empathy and created the MeToo movement in 2006 to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual abuse and assault. She is now a senior director at Girls for Gender Equality, a Brooklyn nonprofit. 

Following the breakfast, a closed legislators round-table with Ms. Burke will take place from 10:15 a.m. to noon. Approximately 30 local elected officials and politicians are expected to attend.

Finally, a public forum with Ms. Burke will be held in the university’s student activity center from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The discussion will focus on how young people can make lasting social and cultural changes and will be led by girls in the I-Tri program. Because the 600-seat auditorium is already sold out, the program will be broadcast live on Facebook.

Theresa Roden, the founder and executive director of I-Tri, said, “This event couldn’t be more timely. We strive to empower young women, and the three alumnae who will facilitate the conversation onstage with Ms. Burke are a testament to those efforts.”

“I hope this event is a spark that will help spread this movement throughout Long Island and take the conversation to the next level,” State Assemblywoman Pellegrino said. “I’m happy to add my voice to the chorus of courageous women and men who speak out against this predatory behavior and envision a world where sexual harassment and assault are no longer.”