MIT Media Lab announces this year's Disobedience Prize winners: #MeToo and #MeTooSTEM

For the second year now, the MIT Media Lab has awarded a "Disobedience Prize" of $250,000, no strings attached, awarded to people whose disobedient work has benefitted society; this year's prize is share among three leaders of the #MeToo and #MeTooSTEM movements: BethAnn McLaughlin, Sherry Marts, and Tarana Burke.

Five finalists were awarded $10K each: Katie Endicott (West Virginia teacher's strike organizer); Sarah Mardini and Yusra Mardini (refugee activists and Olympians); Tara Parrish (led and defended the Springfield Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition) and Deborah Swackhamer (led the EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors and was pressured to change her testimony to whitewash Trump policies).

The prize is funded by Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman.

"This year's winners embody the highest ideals of what the Disobedience Award is intended to honor: speaking truth to power, empowering the voiceless, accepting personal responsibility and fallout without a view to personal gain," says Joi Ito, director of the Media Lab and co-founder of the award. "The #MeToo movement represents a sea change in American culture, in our institutions, in every professional, academic, and political arena. These three women are on the front lines of this movement, and their refusal to back down or be silenced is what will continue propelling the movement forward in the face of every kind of opposition. We have to support that kind of heroism."

Announcing the winners of the 2018 MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award [Janine Liberty/MIT Media Lab]

(Disclosure: I am an MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate)