Anita Hill, whose courage has inspired generations, is renowned for her work with civil and women’s rights, in pursuit of social justice, and to combat sexual harassment. Her voice has been prominent in academia, politics, and in the media regarding gender, race, and equality; the Washington Post has called her a “leading face” of the ongoing #MeToo movement.
Anita Hill is a university professor of social policy, law, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Brandeis University and a faculty member of its Heller School for Social Policy and Management. In her 1997 memoir, Speaking Truth to Power, Hill recounted her 1991 Congressional testimony against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. “Women who accuse men, particularly powerful men, of harassment are often confronted with the reality of the men’s sense that they are more important than women, as a group,” she wrote.
When Christine Blasey Ford stepped forward to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in high school, Hill penned a New York Times op-ed on the parallels to her own experiences: “With the current heightened awareness of sexual violence comes heightened accountability for our representatives. To do better, the 2018 Senate Judiciary Committee must demonstrate a clear understanding that sexual violence is a social reality to which elected representatives must respond.”
Anita Hill exemplifies moral courage, throughout her career, she has spoken truth to power, reminding us of the impact that a single voice can have. As our graduates prepare to make their difference in the world, I have no doubt they will find both strength and inspiration in her words as in her life.
Hill’s most recent book is Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home. She received this year’s Courage Award from PEN America, a literary and human-rights organization that defends and celebrates free expression in the United States.
Professor Hill’s commentary has been published in TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Ms. Magazine. She has appeared on national television programs including “Good Morning America”, “Meet the Press”, “The Today Show”, “The Tavis Smiley Show” and “Larry King Live”.
Professor Anita Hill holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Oklahoma State University and a JD from Yale Law School as well as several honorary degrees and civic awards. She has chaired the Human Rights Law Committee of the International Bar Association. In addition, she is on the Board of Governors of the Tufts Medical Center and the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Law Center and the Boston Area Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.