The Center for Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies is partnering with The Spotlight to host the second annual #MeToo Speak Out.
Leah Weller, a junior WGS major and ambassador, says the Speak Out is a safe space where members of the Warrensburg and UCM community can gather to listen and share their stories related to the #MeToo movement.
The Speak Out is set for 6-8 p.m. Wednesday in the Elliott Student Union, Room 236.
Weller said the event “came out of the rising publicity of the MeToo movement across the nation and seeing how it played out on college campuses across the country and bringing it to our campus.”
According to the #MeToo organizational website, the movement was founded in 2006 by Tarana Burke “to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly Black women and girls, and other young women of color from low wealth communities, find pathways to healing.”
The movement became popular in October 2017 when actress Ashley Judd accused Harvey Weinstein, a Hollywood executive, of sexual assault. Ten days later, actress Alyssa Milano encouraged the public to reply to her tweet about sexual harassment and assault by saying “me too.” Soon, public and prominent individuals began replying with their own testimonials, according to The Chicago Tribune.
Since then, there have been several million tweets and other social media posts organized with the hashtag #MeToo by people who have shared their stories.
The movement has led to criminal convictions, and a ME TOO bill was submitted to Congress in late 2017 to “overhaul the system for filing and settling harassment claims from congressional employees,” according to NPR.
Warrensburg community resources such as Survival House, a center for domestic violence and sexual assault, will be present in order to help those in need.
“I hope to allow survivors to have their voice heard because that is incredibly important,” Weller said. “I hope to sort of grow the #MeToo movement and help it be noticed on campus, and also I hope to have a supported environment for everyone, even if they are not speaking.”
Individuals wishing to share their story in person or anonymously can email Leah Weller at firstname.lastname@example.org or Elizabeth Smith, WGS interim director, at email@example.com so they can plan accordingly. For those just wishing to attend, no email is required.
Reports of abuse or assault can be made anytime at the Survival House abuse hotline: 1-800-846-7595.