VFA Welcomes Anita Hill...
Hill was born in Lone Tree, Oklahoma. She received her undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University in 1977, and her Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School in 1980. Upon graduation from law school, she became a practicing lawyer with the Washington, D.C., firm of Wald, Harkrader, and Ross. In 1981, she met Thomas, and became his assistant at the U.S. Department of Education. It was during this period, according to Hill's later testimony, that the alleged sexual harassment took place. After Thomas became Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Hill joined the Commission's legal staff.
When Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1991, Hill was drawn reluctantly into the national limelight when she was subpoenaed regarding her accusations of sexual harassment. Her statements to the FBI that Thomas had used sexually vulgar and offensive language with her were leaked to the media by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Hill, by then on the law school faculty at the University of Oklahoma, testified before the committee about Thomas's alleged verbal harassment. Anita Hill testimony in 1991 stated: "Thomas was drinking a Coke in his office, he got up from the table at which we were working, went over to his desk to get the Coke, looked at the can and and asked, "Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?"". Thomas made a blanket denial of the accusations, claiming this was a "high-tech lynching," and, after extensive debate, the U.S. Senate narrowly confirmed Thomas by a vote of 52-48. In 1991, public opinion polls showed that 47% of those polled believed Thomas, while only 24% believed Hill. Doubts about her testimony were furthered by the widely publicized and later recanted claims of David Brock, who coined the phrase "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty" to describe Professor Hill. Later, in his book "Blinded by the Right," Brock confessed that, to please his conservative backers, he had deliberately gone after Anita Hill's reputation in a smear campaign that relied on false and unfounded information. By 1992 public opinion polls showed 44% believed Hill and only 34% believed Thomas. An account of the Senate confirmation hearings was published by Anita Hill in 1998 in a book called Speaking Truth to Power. In 2005, Hill was selected as a Fletcher Foundation Fellow. She joined the faculty of Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in 1997. She co-edited Race, Gender and Power in America with Emma Coleman Jordan and "written extensively on international commercial law, bankruptcy and civil rights".
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