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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Anita Hill to speak to UF virtually at first Accent event of the semester

<p>Anita Hill spoke to UF in a 45-minute virtual interview Thursday. The event was be moderated by <span id="docs-internal-guid-9d15aeda-7fff-7f96-5517-4766008f96e5"><span>Debra Walker King, a UF English professor, and was hosted by <span id="docs-internal-guid-fdb75269-7fff-095d-fc28-29df584fa183"><span>Accent Speakers Bureau and the Women’s Student Association.</span></span></span></span></p>

Anita Hill spoke to UF in a 45-minute virtual interview Thursday. The event was be moderated by Debra Walker King, a UF English professor, and was hosted by Accent Speakers Bureau and the Women’s Student Association.

Anita Hill, lawyer and Brandeis University professor, will speak to UF Sept. 10 during a virtual event hosted by Accent Speakers Bureau and the Women’s Student Association.

The 6:30 p.m. event will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passing of the U.S. Constitution’s 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, but for years did not apply to Black women.

“Dr. Hill will bring a diversity of knowledge to the UF community, including how the 19th Amendment explicitly excluded women who were not white – particularly Black women – and we need to remember that when discussing the 19th Amendment,” WSA President Elizabeth Lossada-Soto wrote in an email.

The event will be a 45-minute virtual conversation between Hill and moderator Debra Walker King, a UF English professor, followed by a 15-minute student Q&A session, Accent chairman Steven Wolf wrote in an email.

Up to 3,000 attendees can attend the hour-long Zoom discussion. Those interested must register for a spot by noon on the day of the event, according to the SG Facebook announcement. The sign-up requires a valid university email.

Past virtual Accent speakers like scientist and comedian Bill Nye and comedian John Mulaney's events were conducted via Microsoft Teams, which allows up to 10,000 viewers. 

Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle were paid $50,000 for an in-person Accent event. John Mulaney was paid $50,000 for his virtual event. Black Lives Matter movement founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi were paid $10,000 each for their virtual event. 

Hill’s contract did not arrive in time for publication.

She gained national attention in 1991 when she testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee regarding sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas, a Supreme Court nominee and her former supervisor. Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court after Hill’s testimony about the harassment she endured from him while working at the Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Thomas also taught a short course at the UF Levin College of Law in January. The student group “We Believe Survivors,” which advocates for sexual assault survivors, was made last Fall in response to the announcement of Thomas’ class.

Former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden conducted the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where Hill testified in 1991. He has since apologized to Hill for her treatment at the hearing and for not allowing additional witnesses against Thomas to testify. 

Hill’s testimony made workplace sexual harassment a nationally recognized issue, work that has continued to this day with the #MeToo movement. Hill currently teaches as a women’s studies, social policy, African and African American studies and law professor at Brandeis University, a private research university in Massachusetts, according to the university's website.

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“Dr. Anita Hill is an incredibly inspiring and educated lawyer and leader in the civil rights and women's rights movements,” WSA President Lossada-Soto wrote. “I am absolutely thrilled to have her speak and I'm glad that more UF students will know her name and her story.”

Anita Hill spoke to UF in a 45-minute virtual interview Thursday. The event was be moderated by Debra Walker King, a UF English professor, and was hosted by Accent Speakers Bureau and the Women’s Student Association.

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Lianna Hubbard

Lianna Hubbard is a reporter for The Alligator’s Investigative Team. The UF women’s study major began as a freelance reporter three years ago. She founded her community college’s award-winning newspaper before beginning at The Independent Florida Alligator. See an issue in your community or a story at UF? Send tips to her Twitter.


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