#MeToo founder, NBC journalist featured in Centofanti Symposium March 28

Tarana Burke and Ronan Farrow
Tarana Burke (top) and Ronan Farrow (bottom)

Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, and Ronan Farrow, a journalist whose reporting exposed Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual assault, are the featured guests at Youngstown State University’s Centofanti Symposium 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown.

Tickets are free but required for admission and are available at the Stambaugh Box Office on Fifth Avenue in Youngstown or online at www.stambaughauditorium.com.

Burke, senior director at Girls for Gender Equity in Brooklyn, started #MeToo a decade ago to raise awareness about sexual violence. Last fall, after women began speaking out against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and others, actress-activist Alyssa Milano tweeted: “If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” The hashtag was tweeted nearly a million times in 48 hours. Last year, Timemagazine named “The Silence Breakers” - those who have shared their stories about sexual assault and harassment - as the magazine’s Person of the Year.

Ronan Farrow is host of MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow Daily show, a human rights lawyer and an award-winning investigative journalist. He is a Rhodes Scholar, served as a State Department diplomat in Afghanistan and Pakistan, founded the Today show’s “#Undercovered” series, and has twice been named one of the “30 Under 30” most influential people in law and policy by Forbes magazine.

The James and Coralie Centofanti Foundation donated $1 million to YSU in 2012 to establish the Centofanti Center of Health and Welfare for Vulnerable Populations at the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services at YSU. The center focuses on providing support for educational initiatives, student scholarships, research, and workforce development that promotes the well-being of individuals affected by debilitating illness, poverty, disability and discrimination.

Last fall, the Foundation pledged an additional $500,000 to help support the Centofanti Symposium at YSU. The symposium has brought an array of nationally- and internationally-recognized speakers to Youngstown over the last five years, including Gloria Steinem, Ben Carson and W. Kamau Bell.