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About the Conference | Anita Hill 20 Years Later

About the Conference

  • About Anita Hill

    The youngest of 13 children from a farm in rural Oklahoma, Hill received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1980. She began her career in private practice in Washington, D.C. with the firm of Wald, Harkrader and Ross with a focus on banking law and litigation. Before becoming a law professor, she worked as an advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Education Department and the Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1989, Hill became the first African American to be tenured at the University of Oklahoma, College of Law. There she taught contracts and commercial law.

    In 1991, Anita Hill was thrust into the public spotlight when she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Judge Clarence Thomas. After the hearing, she began speaking to audiences throughout the United States as well as in Canada, South Africa, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand and Japan about social and political problems facing the world. Despite a demanding speaking schedule, Hill continues her teaching and research. She believes that the combination of popular and scholarly work keeps her ideas fresh and grounded in both the latest research and in real life experiences. Bio continues here.

    Sex, Power and Speaking Truth: Anita Hill 20 Years Later will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2011 at Hunter College in New York City. The conference will bring together three generations to witness, respond and analyze present day realities in law, politics, the confluence of race, class and gender, the persistent questioning of women’s credibility, issues of black masculinity and current cases of sexual harassment. The conference will also include highlights from First Run Feature’s film about Anita Hill’s testimony, ‘Sex and Justice.’

    Anita Hill will be the honoree and keynote speaker, and will be joined by prominent scholars, attorneys, journalists and activists speaking on panels throughout the day. The conference will also feature “Speaking Truth to Power,” a performance curated by Eve Ensler. The performance will include original works written by Edwidge Danticat, Asali Devan, Eve Ensler, Lisa Kron, Lynn Nottage, Mary Oliver and Kevin Powell.


    Organizing Committee

    We are grateful to the tremendous leadership conference co-chairs Kathleen Peratis and Letty Cottin Pogrebin, as well as the conference planning committee without whom this conference would not be possible:

    Purva Panday Cullman

    Eve Ensler

    Deborah Slaner Larkin
    USTA Serves

    Pat Mitchell
    The Paley Center for Media

    Amy Richards
    Soapbox: Speakers Who Speak Out, Inc.

    Farah Tanis
    Black Women’s Blueprint

    Patricia J. Williams
    Columbia University


    Conference Staff

    Cynthia Greenberg
    Conference Coordinator

    Jane Brody
    External Affairs, Roosevelt House

    Alex McAdams
    Conference Assistant

    Lisa Flythe
    Conference Assistant

    Ellen Murray
    Program Coordinator, Roosevelt House

    Fay Rosenfeld
    Director of Programs Operations and Development, Roosevelt House

    Conference Partners



    (List in formation)
    Thank you to our underwriters for their generous contributions and support that have been crucial to this effort. Without their generosity, the costs to produce this conference would have been prohibitive:

    Barbara Dobkin

    Deborah Larkin

    Kathleen Peratis

    Barbara Whitman

    Lois Whitman



    Read more about our conference co-sponsors and partners here.

    The commitment and enthusiasm of our partner and host institution, Hunter College and President Jennifer Raab have been invaluable in this effort. We thank the entire Hunter College project staff and the Roosevelt House Institute for Public Policy in particular.