Founder & Executive Director
Tarana J. Burke has been working at the intersection of racial justice and gender equity for nearly three decades. Fueled by a commitment to interrupt sexual violence and other systemic issues disproportionately impacting marginalized people- particularly black women and girls- Tarana has created and led campaigns that have brought awareness to the harmful legacies surrounding communities of color. Specifically, her work to end sexual violence has not only exposed the ugly truths of sexism and spoke truth to power, it has also increased access to resources and support for survivors and paved a way forward for everyone to find their place in the movement.
A proud native of the Bronx, NY, Tarana’s passion for community organizing began in the late 1980s; when as a young girl, she joined a youth development organization called 21st Century. She launched initiatives around issues like racial discrimination, housing inequality and economic justice across the city. That work, coupled with a desire to deepen her academic education and organizing skills led her to Alabama State University, a historically black institution. Her organizing and advocacy work continued throughout college and remains a pillar of her professional life.
Her career took an intentional turn toward supporting survivors of sexual violence upon moving to Selma, Alabama to work for 21st Century. She encountered dozens of black girls who were sharing stories of sexual violence and abuse, stories of which she personally identified. Tarana realized too many girls were suffering through abuse without access to resources, safe spaces and support. So in 2007, she created JustBe, Inc., an organization committed to the empowerment and wellness of black girls. The ‘me too.’ Movement was born shortly thereafter as an entry to healing for survivors and a way for young people to share their stories.
In 2017, when ‘me too.’ as a hashtag (#metoo) went viral, Tarana emerged as a global leader in the evolving conversation around sexual violence. She placed the focus back on survivors and the need for survivor-centered, survivor-led solutions. Her theory of empowerment through empathyÂ is changing the way the world thinks and talks about sexual violence, consent and body autonomy. Tarana used her platform to share the longstanding belief that healing isn’t a destination but a journey, which has touched and inspired millions of survivors who previously lived with the pain, shame and trauma of their experience in isolation. Her steadfast commitment is what led her to receive numerous accolades including 2017 TIME Person of the Year, the 2019 Sydney Peace Prize, among many other honors and recognitions.
Chief Strategy Officer
Celeste Faison is a strategist and trainer. As Chief Strategy Officer for the ‘me too.’ Movement, she leads field innovation and political strategy. Additionally, Celeste serves as co-executive director of the Blackout Collective, an organization with a mission to train 10,000 Black direct action strategists and practitioners by 2021.
Chief Operations Officer
Dani Ayers is an organizational development and board strategy executive. As Chief Operations Officer, she is building ‘me too.’s infrastructure and foundation, leading day-to-day operations and heading up finance, as well as human resources. Dani has spent 15 years developing organizations and boards, from infancy through growth and sustainability, spanning small, grassroots organizations to large, multi-billion dollar enterprises.
Chief Communications Officer
Denise Beek is a communications strategist who has worked in the nonprofit sector for over a decade. As the Chief Communications Officer for ‘me too.’, she leads branding, engagement and media relations for the organization. Denise’s prior experience includes arts administration, philanthropy, and event production, always with a mission to help foster cultural dialogue, organizing and social justice.
Khadijah Austin has over seven years experience in nonprofit management. She is the Executive Assistant to Tarana Burke and the ‘me too.’ Movement, where she manages everyday operations. Previously, Khadijah served as the SE Youth Program Coordinator at American Friends Service Committee focused on building sustainable black communities.
Luann V. Tan (Algoso)
Digital Communications Strategist
Luann V. Tan manages digital communication and online visibility with the organization’s communities and partners. She has over six years of cultural organizing, production, and digital strategy within the racial, gender, and economic justice space. Luann is a queer disabled Filipinx daughter of immigrants who grew up in a working-class multigenerational household in Southern California.
Nikita Mitchell has over eight years of experience in community organizing. She is the Organizing Fellow for the ‘me too. Movement,’ where she designs and implements curricula for the organization’s higher education programs. Previously, Nikita served as the Director of Organizing for Black Lives Matter Global Network.
Social Work Fellow
As social work fellow, Becca works alongside the programs team to support the build out of the organization’s field strategy, including survivor-centered programming, healing and organizing. Becca comes from the New York education and intersectional gender justice space, and recently graduated with a Masters in Social Work. She is thrilled to be a part of this incredible team visioning a world without sexual violence.
Maori Karmael Holmes
Maori Karmael Holmes is a 2019 Soros Equality Fellow and 2016 Ford Foundation Rockwood JustFilms Fellow. Previous professional positions include Executive Director, ARRAY Alliance, Director of Public Engagement at the Institute of Contemporary Art at University of Pennsylvania, and Associate Director at the Leeway Foundation. She has contributed most recently to The Believer, Film Quarterly, and Colorlines.com, as well as the anthologies Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good (edited by adrienne maree brown), and How We Fight White Supremacy: A Field Guide to Black Resistance (edited by Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin). Maori has organized film programs at a myriad of organizations including: Anthology Film Archives, Barnes Foundation, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, The Underground Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Additionally, she serves as Artistic Director of BlackStar Film Festival and as a consultant with Blackbird Communications focused on narrative change for social justice organizations.
Ryann’s passion is to create love and space that uplifts and transforms. Over the last 15 years, Ryann has created and produced music festivals, concerts, parties and more. In 2009 Ryann founded the bklyn boihood collective. Now celebrating a decade of events, the collective has grown into a community staple. By creating spaces like the Soul of BK festival, Ryann has been able to empower Black businesses, queer and trans artists and employ local youth. While producing events and spaces, Ryann has also worked in the film industry, serving as talent coordinator and music supervisor for films. In 2016, Ryann was voted one of Brooklyn Magazine’s top 100 cultural innovators and in 2019 was featured in the New York Times article, “The Joy of Queer Parties. In June, Ryann was awarded the 2019 Community Leadership Award from the Brooklyn Pride Center.