In this moment of national dialogue and activism about gender-based violence, The New York Women’s Foundation (The Foundation) is launching a Fund to support the work of Tarana Burke, Founder and Leader of the Me Too Movement and organizations working to end sexual violence.
The creation of the Fund builds on The Foundation’s 31-year history of investing to end gender-based violence. Rooted in New York City and co-chaired by The Foundation and Burke, the Fund will have a national reach. The Foundation has seeded the fund with $1 million and will seek additional significant philanthropic investment.
The Fund is dedicated to addressing the needs of cis and trans activists of color working in community-based organizations focused on preventing and ending sexual violence in underinvested communities at the individual, community and systemic level, placing special emphasis on the healing and leadership of survivors and, and promoting gender and racial justice.
Ana Oliveira, president & CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation, said “The Me Too Movement has given women hope that, finally change is within reach. Now we must support the movement in reaching its goals of justice and healing so that no woman is overlooked — especially cis and trans women of color and women living in poverty. The New York Women’s Foundation is proud to build on our history of supporting transformational leaders. We could not have a better partner than Tarana Burke, the movement’s indomitable leader to further its momentum and assure its success.”
Burke began the Me Too movement in 2006 to help survivors of sexual violence find a pathway to healing. Through the hashtag #metoo, the movement has built a community that assures thousands of survivors that they are not alone while bringing sexual violence to the forefront of national conversation.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with The New York Women’s Foundation to create this Fund. Our work started out as a grassroot community-based effort and grew into a global network of survivors and advocates working to interrupt sexual violence and ensure that survivors have access to the tools they need to sustain a healing process. This Fund will go a long way to not only support our ongoing work, but to make sure that others like us on the ground are supported as well,” said Burke.
The first grants are expected to be conveyed in the fall of 2018.
The announcement of the Me Too Fund was made on May 10 at The Foundation’s 2018 Celebrating Women Breakfast at the New York Marriot Marquis, where Burke, Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, Founder of The African American Policy Forum, and The New York Community Trust and its president, Lorie A. Slutsky, were honored for their work creating a better future for women and families. The Celebrating Women Breakfast is one of The Foundation’s signature gatherings, attracting more than two thousand attendees each year.