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#MeToo creator Tarana Burke to lead New Year’s Eve countdown in Times Square

Millions will watch as Burke presses the button to begin the countdown to 2018.

Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too movement,

Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too movement, will be the guest of honor at the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration. Photo Credit: Pacific Press / Sipa via AP Images / Chirag Wakaskar

Tarana Burke, the social activist who helped shine a light on rampant sexual abuse through her Me Too movement, will be the guest of honor at the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration.

Burke will take part in the ceremony seen around the globe by pushing the Waterford crystal button that starts the iconic ball drop, signaling the countdown to 2018.

“I am delighted to be participating in this momentous occasion,” said Burke. “I think it’s fitting to honor the Me Too movement as we close a historic year and set our intentions for 2018. With the new year comes new momentum to fuel this work and we won’t stop anytime soon.”

Burke has spent more than a decade working with victims of sexual abuse, starting Just Be Inc. and the Me Too Movement. The #MeToo hashtag went viral after actress Alyssa Milano started using it in response to the scores of women who said they were sexually harassed and abused by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and others in the entertainment industry.

“New Year’s is a time when we look at the most significant cultural and political moments of the last year, when we look for inspiration by honoring and giving a global platform to those who have made a difference,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. “Tarana Burke’s courage and foresight have changed the world this year, and, we hope, forever.”

Last year, more than 2 million people helped ring in the new year in Times Square.

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