Black women, girls remain center of #MeToo movement, founder says – News – The Columbus Dispatch

The #MeToo movement started in 2006, but it’s use skyrocketed last year when allegations of sexual abuse by film producer Harvey Weinstein became public.

On Thursday, the movement’s founder, Tarana Burke, a civil-rights activist, visited Columbus.

She spoke at the 2018 National Urban League conference and received an award at the Women of Power luncheon. The theme of Thursday’s conference was women empowerment and featured a star-studded list of speakers.

Also honored at the luncheon was Judy Smith, former press secretary to George H.W. Bush and the inspiration and co-executive producer for the TV show “Scandal.”

The luncheon, emceed by Michelle Miller, co-host of “CBS This Morning: Saturday,” was held in the Battelle Ballroom in the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

“They’re changing the world and they’re doing it in red bottoms, they’re doing it in burkas, or with a baby on their hip,” Miller said before announcing the honorees.

Along with Burke and Smith, four other women were honored: Sadqia Reynolds, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League; Rep. Joyce Beatty, who represents Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District; La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and Rosalind Hudnell, who retired from her role as president of the Intel Foundation last month.

“Black women and girls are the center of this work for me, and always have been,” Burke said after receiving her award. “This is our movement. Nobody can take it as long as we claim it.”

Burke also urged the audience to take action in their neighborhoods. “In our communities, we have a lot of work to do, and I hope that I have your commitment to continue that work,” she said.

The luncheon, honoring women and the #MeToo movement, came after allegations that Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer may have known of domestic abuse by an assistant coach for receivers, Zach Smith, and did nothing about it.

Ewnetu Tsegaw, a policy specialist with the Urban League of…

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