UF Accent Speakers Bureau will pay Anita Hill, lawyer and Brandeis University professor, $30,000 in student fees for her virtual event on Thursday, according to the event contract.
The Accent and the Women’s Student Association 6:30 p.m. event will commemorate the hundred year anniversary of the passing of the U.S. Constitution’s 19th Amendment, which granted white women the right to vote.
Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle were paid $50,000 for an in-person Accent event last Fall. John Mulaney was paid $50,000 for his virtual Summer event. Black Lives Matter movement founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi were paid $10,000 each for their virtual event over the Summer.
Accent chairman Steven Wolf wrote in an email he reached out to Anita Hill’s agency, was told her speaking fee and made an offer.
Hill’s event will be a 45-minute virtual conversation between Hill and moderator Debra Walker King, a UF English professor and ordained minister at Greater Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. It will be followed by a 15-minute student Q&A session, Wolf wrote.
King said she will talk with Hill about the pandemic, Black Lives Matter uprising and the role that Black women have played in major changes in the country.
“When we talk about the role of women in our culture, in our society, in our policy building, Black women have been involved in all of it,” she said. “Black women did not receive the right to vote at the same time.”
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.
Hill 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.
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.
“We need people like Anita Hill,” King said. “She stood in the face of hostility and spoke a truth and it has turned out to be a truth that crossed racial lines. Because of her we have the access to confront anyone who has wronged our bodies.”
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.
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.