While many people spent January making and liking memes about its whopping five Mondays, the founders and funders of the Time’s Up legal defense fund took advantage of those interminable 31 days to raise as much money and help as many people as they possibly could in the fund’s first month of existence. Their hard work paid off: At the MAKERS conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the fund’s founders shared that Time’s Up has already raised $20 million since its January 1 founding. In that time, more than 200 lawyers have volunteered their time and resources to help the 1,000-plus people who have reached out to the fund for help.
“Time’s Up has really spoken to them,” Tina Tchen, Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff and one of the lawyers spearheading the Time’s Up movement, said during a panel at the conference, according to Deadline. “It’s spoken to men and women who really need help.” Though Time’s Up has largely been championed by women in Hollywood like Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon, and Eva Longoria, it aims to help anyone, in any industry, who needs defense from workplace sexual harassment and assault. As Rashida Jones, another panel participant, put it, “There is no change unless you bring every single person along who has been marginalized, harassed, assaulted.”
The 300 founders of Time’s Up announced the legal defense fund’s establishment on January 1 via full-page ads in The New York Times and La Opinión, the fund’s website, and the members’ social media pages. Starting even before this announcement, the members were meeting and hosting workshops to empower themselves in the fight against sexual misconduct in the workplace and beyond. Since then, they’ve spearheaded the movements to wear black at the Golden Globes and white roses at the Grammys, and have continued to hold powerful men accountable for their misdeeds.