Anita Hill, the young law professor who in 1991 sparked a nationwide conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace, visited Columbia last week. More than 700 women—and a few dozen men—came to hear her and cheer her on.
Professor Hill was the guest of honor September 15 at the 25th annual “I Believe Anita Hill!” Party, the longest-running, continuous event in the United States that voices support for Hill and seeks to highlight gender inequality issues.
Now a social policy and law professor at Brandeis University, Hill was introduced to the large, enthusiastic crowd as a “reluctant hero who stood her ground, and she told the truth.”
The event has continued to grow. This year’s party, which had more than 90 hosts, was the biggest yet. The nonpartisan gathering encourages women to network, to tell their stories, and to get involved in ways that help women and the community.
Hill told the crowd that “I want people to know that I truly have a blessed life. But don’t underestimate how difficult it is for people to come forward, even today. It is still difficult. The pain does not end, and in some cases, it is just the beginning.”
Hill said she is “eternally grateful” for the support she has received over the years. She told of one letter from a schoolteacher, sent to her shortly after the 1991 hearings, that predicted “there will be waves of women behind you.”