Honorary degree awarded to Anita Hill at Rutgers-Camden Law graduation

CAMDEN, N.J. (WPVI) -- It was graduation day for Rutgers-Camden Law. Justin Vidal from Galloway says students have juggled many responsibilities leading up to graduation. He exclaimed, "To be able to get an education, go to law school at night, and finish in 3 years is super remarkable."

Family and friends applauded their efforts at the ceremony at BB&T Pavilion in Camden. Brandeis Professor Anita Hill received an honorary degree and delivered the keynote address. She told graduates, "challenging the status quo is still risky."

In 1991, Hill's testimony during Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation hearings drew national attention. Hill accused her former colleague of repeated sexual harassment. Thomas denied misconduct and eventually was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Hill explained, "Courage is not something that happens once in our lifetimes. It's something we live and exhibit in the way we live our lives every day."

Today Hill chairs the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace created late last year as the #MeToo movement rapidly gained steam. Hill encouraged graduates to make a commitment to social justice.

"Uncertainty prevails only if it can make cowards of us all."

Graduates were excited to hear her speak including Shahidah Williams of Detroit. "Anita Hill is a force. She's a seminal thinker on women's equality and black rights."

Graduate Judy O'Malley added, "She is at the forefront of providing safety and security to people who are afraid to come out and talk about their experience."
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