Attorney and academic Anita Hill to speak on campus Thursday

The University of Connecticut’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host attorney Anita Hill. (Ashley Trinh/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host attorney Anita Hill. (Ashley Trinh/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host attorney Anita Hill as the speaker for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Legacy Convocation on Thursday, Jan. 18.

The event, which posters around campus have advertised with the heading “Reimagining Equality,” is free and open to the public and will be held at Jorgensen starting at 1 p.m., according to the event page.  

UConn President Susan Herbst wrote in a Jan. 16 email to the UConn community that Hill is a professor of social policy, law and women's studies at Brandeis University.

Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Joelle Murchison said she feels that Hill, a woman of color who grew up in rural Oklahoma and went on to Yale Law School, will give an “incredible perspective” and create dialogues that will bring a “commitment to living out loud MLK.”

In the email, Herbst encouraged students to attend the event, noting that Hill brought sexual harassment in the workplace into the national spotlight in 1991 when she testified that Clarence Thomas, who was then a Supreme Court nominee and is currently a Supreme Court associate justice, had sexually harassed her while they worked together at the United States Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“Her appearance on campus is particularly timely not only as it relates to the holiday,” Herbst wrote in the email. “But also the ongoing national dialogue regarding sexual harassment.”

Murchison said the event was an opportunity to “gather as a campus community.”

The annual program seeks to inspire individuals to bring Dr. King’s dream of equality to fruition, according to the event page.

“Through this annual program, it is our goal to showcase a message of humanity, hope, understanding, and the need for continuous learning as a community committed to inclusion,” the page said.

The convocation planning committee considers a variety of criteria when choosing the speaker annually, Murchison said.

The preliminary criteria includes someone who can “live out their truth,” according to Murchison.

Murchison said that Dr. King spoke about the creation of a community that is made up of people from different walks of life and committed to inclusivity. Murchison added that this is the campus climate she wants for UConn.

Further inquiries about the event can be made to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion office at (860) 486-2422 or diversity@uconn.edu.


Kimberly Nguyen is the associate managing editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kimberly.nguyen@uconn.edu.