Tarana Burke Talks Me Too's New PSA Campaign

Amy Russo

Tarana Burke, the activist who founded the Me Too movement against sexual abuse more than a decade ago, is launching a new public service announcement campaign to remind survivors they’re not alone.

The series of videos, which debuts Monday, features the stories of four individuals ― Emily Waters, Daniela Contreras, an anonymous survivor and actor Terry Crews, who has been an outspoken advocate on social media and on the Senate floor.

Burke told HuffPost she hopes the PSAs will show that Me Too goes beyond outing offenders. It also aims to empower survivors.

“It’s about survivors regaining control of their own stories and taking hold of their own healing journeys,” Burke said. “If the PSAs empower one person to gather the resources they need to begin their own recovery ― whether that’s telling their story, or seeking justice in whatever way feels right for them ― then the PSAs have served their purpose.”

The short films were made in partnership with Deutsch, a New York-based advertising agency with offices in Los Angeles.

Burke said the idea for the campaign came after she spoke at an agency event about a year ago and was offered the resources to create the videos.

Viewers of the PSAs hear only the survivor’s voice, while abstract designs cross the screen.

Kelsey Hodgkin, Deutsch’s head of strategy, said omitting actual faces places the spotlight “on the feelings the person experienced,” thus allowing “empathy with the survivors in a way that all viewers can relate to.”

The campaign aims to focus attention on all survivors, rather than the “boardroom scandals and political jostling, and the ‘uncertain futures’ of the powerful perpetrators,” Hodgkin said.

For those living with the trauma of sexual violence, Burke said it was crucial to know that recovering can be a long struggle.

“One of the main things we’re sharing with people through the movement is that being a survivor isn’t something you do once; waking up every day and making it through is surviving,” she said. “Finding joy and laughter and being comfortable in your body is surviving. And that’s why healing is a journey, not a destination.”

The campaign’s tagline, “We hear you. We see you. We believe you.” was splashed across screens at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.