Anita Hill, JD, is senior advisor to the provost and professor of social policy, law, and women’s studies at Brandeis University.
In 1991, after President George H. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court, Hill was called as a character witness at the confirmation hearings for Thomas, her former boss. She testified that in 1981, when she was a 25-year-old lawyer working for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Thomas regularly talked to her graphically about sex. She said he gave lurid details about the pornography he watched, discussed his sexual prowess, and pressured her to have sex with him.
Under some of the most intense media scrutiny in modern history, Hill brought the issue of sexual harassment into national focus. Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court, but by the smallest margin in the Supreme Court’s history.
In March 2014, a documentary about Hill was released. Called Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, the film is both a celebration of Hill’s legacy and a rare glimpse into her private life with friends and family, many of whom were by her side during the Thomas confirmation hearings.
Hill has received numerous awards and honors over the years, including honorary degrees from Mount Ida College (2013), the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (2010), Lasell College (2007), Smith College (2003), Simmons College (2001), and Dillard University (2001); the First Amendment Award from Ford Hall Forum (2008); a visiting scholar appointment Wellesley College’s Newhouse Center for the Humanities & Wellesley Centers for Women (2007); and the Alphonse Fletcher Sr. Fellowship Award (2005).
She is the author of two books, Speaking Truth to Power and Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home.