After hearing numerous stories about trauma from sexual assault and violence, Tarana Burke knew she had to do something to help the many survivors, like herself, heal. And so in 2006, Burke co-founded an organization called Just Be Inc., where she focused on improving the health and well-being of young women of color.
"I had always wanted to do work around sexual violence in the community," Burke tells CNBC Make It. "As a survivor I started thinking about what that would look like and what I needed at that age. That's when we came up with 'me too.'"
More than a decade later, the words 'me too' started trending on social media when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted them in an effort to give voice to sexual abuse survivors as allegations against Harvey Weinsteinmounted. Within 24 hours the words became a viral hashtag, with many women sharing their personal experiences of sexual violence. Reportedly, there were more than 12 million #metoo Facebook posts and reactions within a day of Milano's tweet.
When the actress learned of Burke's long-time efforts around the issue, she sent her a direct message on Twitter to find out how she could lend further support.
"We just started talking from there and then I was invited to come on Good Morning America with her and you know from the moment she found out she acknowledged that the work existed," says Burke.
While she's happy that many people have joined the movement, Burke says her plan now is to make sure that conversations around the issue continue beyond the trending headlines.
"There are a number of people who are anxious to leave #metoo behind and move on, but I don't think people realize how short of a time we have been discussing this issue compared to how long this has been an issue," she says. "There is still work we have to do to expand our conversation around sexual violence and just the range of people who experience it and how they experience it."