MIT honours #MeToo movement trailblazers

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab has awarded three leaders behind the #MeToo and #MeTooSTEM movements with the 2018 Media Lab Disobedience Award for their roles in taking a stand against sexual assault and the treatment of survivors.

The three winners are Tarana Burke – the founder of the #MeToo movement, neuroscientist and professor BethAnn McLaughlin and biologist Sherry Marts – who both brought the #MeToo discussion into the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

Burke launched the#MeToo movement in 2006, 11 years before the hashtag went viral and the movement gained global traction. The movement was initially launched to provide survivors of sexual violence – particularly black women and girls from disadvantaged backgrounds – with the help and resources they need. Burke herself is a survivor of sexual assault who has said that her experiences inspired her to dedicate herself to fighting for the rights of women.

Once the movement gained momentum, it provided a platform for survivors of sexual abuse from all walks of life to share their stories, expose their abusers and share the challenges they faced in getting justice – and in many cases, not getting justice at all.

Burke was named TIME magazine’s 2017 Person of the Yearas well as TIME’s “100 Most Influential People of 2018.”

McLaughlin pushed for the #MeTooSTEM movement with the support of students and professors who were disillusioned with the inaction of organisations in the STEM fields against individuals harassing and assaulting women trainees and professionals.

McLaughlin has braved ostracism from her academic peers in the STEM fields by calling for leading science organisations such as the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science to hold members found guilty of sexual assault or misconduct accountable and to revoke their membership.

Marts is a consultant advising nonprofit and academic organisations on how to become more inclusive and how to deal with sexual harassment. She experienced harassment while in graduate school which fueled her to pursue a career making organisations aware of the issues that sexual abuse survivors face.

According to the Media Lab Disobedience Award website, this award was established two years ago to recognise a person or a group participating in “an extraordinary example of disobedience for the benefit of society” in ways that are nonviolent and call for accountability.

Candidates for the award can come from across the world and from any field ranging from arts and academia to science and social advocacy.

Burke, McLaughlin and Marts will share a $250 000 cash prize. 

Advertisting

Aggett tormentor had a ‘morbid’ obsession — Barbara Hogan

The former minister told the inquest into the trade unionist Neil Aggett’s death that security branch interrogator Stephan Whitehead was voyeuristic

ANC and the state step back from taking action against...

Despite alleged abuses of power and people’s trust, the ANC appears to have abandoned plans to reform the controversial Ingonyama Trust Board
Advertising

Press Releases

UKZN scientists make the grade

Dr Veron Ramsuran and Dr Lenine Liebenberg have been named in the African Academy of Science's top 40 list.

Wellcome Trust award goes to UKZN mental health champion

Dr Andr? J van Rensburg, a senior researcher in UKZN's Centre for Rural Health, received the Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award.

MTN gears up to deliver improved customer service

On 28 January, the first batch of MTN contract customers will be migrated onto the new customer service platform.

Request for expression of interest on analysis of quality and outcome indicators for regional and district hospitals in Lesotho

Introduction The Ministry of Health of Lesotho with the support of the World Bank funded Nutrition and Health Systems Strengthening...

MiX Telematics enhances in-vehicle video camera solution

The company has launched the gold MiX Vision Bureau Service, which includes driver-coaching tools to ensure risky driver behaviour can be addressed proactively and efficiently.

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity