Tarana Burke is the activist who founded the Me Too Movement over a decade ago; the power of the phrase was most recently acknowledged by Time including her for its “Silence Breakers” Person of the Year issue, though Burke was not featured on the cover. A new year is upon us, which means we have an opportunity to kick it off right by putting Burke front and center—she’s dropping the ball for us. In a good way.
AM New York reports that Burke will be in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, pushing the Waterford crystal button that signals the East Coast start of 2018. Though last year we were all naively relieved to greet the hellish year 2017, Burke at the helm this go-round seems significantly more auspicious than expected. And her statement on the invitation is similarly calming:
“I am delighted to be participating in this momentous occasion,” said Burke. “I think it’s fitting to honor the Me Too 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.”
Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, explained to AM New York that the organization generally looks for people associated with political or cultural moments in the last year when choosing the ball dropper.
“Tarana Burke’s courage and foresight have changed the world this year, and, we hope, forever,” said Tompkins. This is the year, folks.