'The World Hears You': Anita Hill Applauds Lesley University Graduates' Activism

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Anita Hill addresses the Lesley University Class of 2019, May 18, 2019 in Boston. (Lesley University / Mark Teiwes)
Anita Hill addresses the Lesley University Class of 2019, May 18, 2019 in Boston. (Lesley University / Mark Teiwes)

With Meghna Chakrabarti

Anita Hill, who in 1991 testified that then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, told Lesley University students "a better world is possible."

"Many of the battles you fought," she said, " … are my battles, my concerns."

Partial Transcription Of Anita Hill's 2019 Lesley University Commencement Speech

So don’t worry about the criticism because these are some of the same pundits that called my generation, baby boomers, the most spoiled generation ever. And when I see you, I see something quite different than the pundits saw. I see resilience. Your generation has faced difficult issues head on. You’ve organized, marched for legislation that would end school shootings. You’ve shared your stories of bullying, harassment, assault on campuses. And, you’ve demanded better protections on colleges throughout the country. Your activities have laid the groundwork for what we now call the MeToo movement. And the organizing is having an effect. We have all heard you, the world hears you. And we thank you for your efforts.

But today you are confronted even in the most noble of efforts with resistance. I saw on one of your hats when I was coming in the words, "Nevertheless, she persisted." You’re smiling. Nevertheless, we persist. We persist in the face of those today who would have you think that divisiveness and isolation are the solutions to these pressing social and economic problems we face. In fact, the times and the recent rise in hate crimes teach us that divisiveness and isolation inspire more violence. Division and isolationism, they are the problems, they are not the solutions.

Read more about the 2019 Lesley University Commencement here.

Grace Tatter produced this segment for broadcast.

This segment aired on May 22, 2019.



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