Tarana Burke, Laura Bush to speak as part of UA’s Distinguished Lecture Series

Courtesy photos

The founder of the “me too” movement, and a former first lady of the United States will speak at the University of Arkansas this spring.

UA officials this week announced that Tarana Burke, a civil rights activist known as the founder of a global movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault known as #MeToo will speak at Fayetteville Town Center on Thursday, March 28, and that former first lady Laura Bush will speak at Bud Walton Arena on Thursday, April 18 this spring.

The speakers will appear in Fayetteville as part of the UA’s Distinguished Lecture series, a student-sponsored series that brings speakers on a variety of topics to campus each year. Past speakers include civil rights advocate and actor Laverne Cox, American soccer icon Abby Wambach, Humans of New York founder Brandon Stanton, Apollo 13 Astronauts James Lovell and Fred Haise, scientist Bill Nye, Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and others.

“We are thrilled to host a record number of women speakers this year,” said Christine Carroll, student chair of the Distinguished Lectures Committee. “The committee members are excited about this year’s guests and the different points of view they bring to students and the greater campus community. If the response to our fall lecture featuring Laverne Cox is any indication, we expect great turnouts for Ms. Burke and Mrs. Bush.

Ticket information for the event has not been announced, though these events are typically free and open to the public, with free tickets available to reserve at osa.uark.edu. We sent a request for more information about tickets to the above events, and will add that information here once we hear back from the UA.

Bios below provided by the University of Arkansas.

Tarana Burke
Tarana Burke is a civil rights activist and the original founder of the ‘me too’ movement. She started using the phrase “me too” while working at Just Be Inc., a nonprofit she founded in 2003 that focused on the overall well-being of young women of color. In 2006, she began her campaign for activism to help girls and women who have experienced sexual harassment, abuse or assault and #MeToo became a global phenomenon in 2017.

Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States (2001-2009)
Laura W. Bush, former first lady of the United States, is an advocate for literacy, education and women’s rights. As first lady, she advanced literacy and education to support America’s young people. Today, as the chair of the Woman’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, she continues her work on global health care innovations, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform and supporting the men and women who have served in America’s military.