In the era of #MeToo, musicians are supporting the movement with powerful new anthems. One example: Nashville-based country duo Haley & Michaels, who released a song Me Too — and now a video — in service of the initiative.
Shannon Haley and Ryan Michaels have been making moving country records together since 2015. But, for their aptly-titled song, they reached out to movement founder Tarana Burke and asked her to add her own voice to elevate their message. “We have to use the power of our collective voices to make a difference,” Burke intones in the new video premiering here on TIME, which features the group’s friends, family, #MeToo supporters and survivors of sexual assault.
“We were deeply impacted and inspired when we first experienced so many people bravely coming forward and saying, ‘Me Too,’” Haley & Michaels explain. “We wanted to add our voices in the best way we knew how — through music. The spirit behind our song is healing, unity and empowerment.”
Burke says she had been approached by plenty of potential collaborators and wasn’t familiar with Haley & Michaels when they first reached out. But she found their message heartfelt and sensed that they “got” it. “They understand that this is a movement ultimately about healing and about centering survivors,” she notes. “I’m so excited about the potential for survivors around the world to be touched by this song! It’s a connector. It reinforces the truth — we’re not alone. It’s a movement.”
Haley & Michaels were equally excited about working with Burke. “More than anything, we hope that it can help other survivors feel that they are not alone in the same way the Me Too Movement has done for us,” they said. “Collaborating with Tarana Burke is the greatest honor we ever could have imagined, and we are incredibly proud, humbled and excited to be a part of spreading her message.”
One hundred percent of the song’s proceeds will go towards Burke’s organization, Girls for Gender Equity, part of the #MeToo movement. It was co-written with songwriters Tom Douglas and Jeff Trott, and Burke wrote her spoken word portion. Watch the video, directed by Tommy Douglas, above.