Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too Movement, will address a forum on sexual assault and sexual harassment at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel on Friday.

— Heather Sten/The New York Times

Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too Movement, will deliver the keynote address at a forum on sexual assault and sexual harassment Friday.

The forum, titled “Ending the Cycle of Silence Where You Live, Work and Learn,” is being held at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market St. Activities will feature a Jennifer Storm, Pennsylvania’s state victim advocate, and four workshops.

“It’s a great opportunity to shine the light on sexual assault and sexual harassment,” said Jinada Rochelle, director of enforcement PHRC and one of the event planners. “We hope that this will inspire those who have come out and talked about sexual harassment and assault and those who have experienced it and are suffering in silence.”

The forum also will provide best practices for ending sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Burke, a civil rights activist, founded the Me Too movement in 2006 when she began using the phrase “Me Too” to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual assault and harassment. Burke, who lived briefly in Philadelphia, was raped and sexually assaulted as a child growing up in New York City.

The phrase developed into a broader movement following the 2017 use of #MeToo as a hashtag after film director Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse allegations. Burke was named a Time magazine Person of the Year in 2017.

The forum is a collaborative effort between the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the city’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services and local nonprofit First Person Arts. It runs from 2 to 9 p.m. at the hotel and is free to the public.

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