2017 Hall of Fame
B.S. Psychology '77
The youngest of 13 children from a farm in Oklahoma, Anita Hill received her juris doctor degree from Yale Law School in 1980. She began her career at a private law practice in Washington, D.C. There she also worked at the U.S. Education Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1989, Hill became the first African American to be tenured at the University of Oklahoma, College of Law, where she taught contracts and commercial law. Currently, at Brandeis University, she teaches courses on gender, race, social policy and legal history. As counsel to Cohen Milstein, she advises on class action workplace discrimination cases.
In Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home (Beacon Press, 2011), Hill analyzes the 2008 housing market collapse and its impact on gender and racial equality. Hill adds this work to numerous other publications including books and articles on subjects ranging from bankruptcy to equal educational opportunity.
Hill expands her pursuit of equality beyond law and policy. She teamed up with MacArthur Genius Award-winning artist Mark Bradford, as he creates the U.S. Pavilion exhibit for the 2017 Venice (Italy) Biennale International Arts Festival opening in May of 2017. She and Mr. Bradford are also collaborating on an exhibit inspired by the text of women civil rights activists and their various contributions to the iconic 1963 “March on the Mall” and the general Civil Rights Movement. Hill’s research, writing and public talks in connection with the exhibit will focus on the contemporary importance of restoring women’s civil rights movement experiences through art, public engagement and scholarship.
In addition, Hill is engaging prominent academics and business professionals all over the country to spearhead “The Gender/Race Imperative,” a project to revive awareness of the broad capacity of Title IX, the crucial law mandating equal education opportunities for women. “The Gender/Race Imperative” will kick start inquiry as well as legal, policy and social reforms that enable success in schools and workplaces for girls and women of all races and economic backgrounds.
The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Time Inc., Newsweek, and Ms. Magazine have published Hill’s commentary. In numerous appearances on national television and scores of public lectures, Hill has spoken on subjects ranging from banks’ accountability for neighborhood losses in the 2008 recession, the role of women judges in adding to public confidence in the legal system, Title IX developments and the elimination of campus sexual harassment and assault.
She is the recipient of numerous grants, honorary degrees, and awards. Hill’s professional and civic contributions include chairing the Human Rights Law Committee of the International Bar Association, and membership on the Board of Governors of the Tufts Medical Center and the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Law Center and the Boston Area Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.
Hill is the subject of Freida Lee Mock’s documentary, ANITA, which premiered in January of 2013 at the Sundance Film festival. Samuel Goldwyn Company staged the films theatrical release in the spring of 2014.