Christine Blasey Ford accepted an empowerment award in California on Wednesday, saying she gained her inspiration from Anita Hill when she publicly accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.
Ms. Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, was greeted with a standing ovation during a rare public appearance to accept YWCA Silicon Valley’s Empowerment Award at their 2019 Inspire Luncheon at the Santa Clara Convention Center.
“I’m deeply humbled to receive this award,” Ms. Ford told the audience, a local CBS affiliate reported. “It’s funny, I was inspired by Anita Hill when I was deciding whether to testify, but it didn’t occur to me at the time that I would be inspiring anyone else.
“I was focused on telling the U.S. Senate what had happened to me,” she said of her testimony. “I simply thought that it was my duty as a citizen and that anyone in my position would do the same thing.
“Everyone has the power to inspire others. Be courageous, stand strong, be yourself,” she concluded.
Ms. Ford testified against Justice Kavanaugh during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding his nomination last September, accusing him of sexually assaulting her in Maryland when she was 15 years old in 1982. Justice Kavanaugh vehemently denied the claims and was ultimately confirmed by a vote of 50–48.
The incident drew comparisons to Ms. Hill’s allegations during Justice Thomas’ confirmation hearings in 1991, in which she accused him of verbally sexually harassing her when she was his employee. Justice Thomas, who was confirmed by a 52–48 vote, denies the claims to this day.