Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) has invited activist and #MeToo creator Tarana Burke to be her guest at the State of Union address in late January.
Burke created the “Me Too” campaign in 2007 as a way to reach out to sexual assault survivors. It became a viral social media hashtag in 2017 after actress Alyssa Milano encouraged people to tweet the phrase following the groundbreaking publication of allegations against former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Speier told MSNBC host Craig Melvin on Thursday that she has asked Burke to be her plus one to the event in an effort to support the movement against sexual misconduct happening in the country.
“I have invited Tarana Burke, who is the founder of the Me Too movement, and she is trying to change her schedule so she can be here,” Speier told MSNBC.
Burke, who attended the 2017 Golden Globes with actress Michelle Williams, did not immediately respond to news’s request for comment.
Speier has ties with the recent #MeToo movement herself. She launched a #MeTooCongress campaign in October encouraging women in politics to speak out about their experiences. The congresswoman recorded a video sharing her own experiences with harassment as a young staffer in her 20s.
“I know what it’s like to keep these things hidden deep down inside. I know what it’s like to lie awake in bed at night wondering if I was the one who had done something wrong,” Speier said in the video. “I know what it’s like years later to remember that rush of humiliation and anger.”
A group of female Democratic lawmakers have planned to wear black to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, as well as inviting survivors of sexual assault to be their guests. Members of the Democratic Women’s Working Group have invited men and women of both parties to participate in the protest, much like the actors and actresses did at this year’s Golden Globes awards.
Two Democratic congresswomen told NBC News that there was even talk about inviting the women accusing Trump of sexual misconduct to the address, but that the idea was killed quickly. The move would be similar to when accusers of former President Bill Clinton accepted Trump’s invitation to sit in the front row of his debate with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaigns.