On Nov. 17, 1991, a full-page ad in The New York Times featured the names of 1,600 black women who were passionately opposed to Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and expressed their support of Anita Hill, who the women felt had been “maligned and castigated for daring to speak publicly of her own experience of sexual abuse.”
Today, as similar debate rages around the potential confirmation of Donald Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court amid allegations of sexual assault and lewd behavior in Kavanaugh’s past, a nearly identical ad has appeared in the same newspaper—this time featuring the names of 1,600 men who support Kavanaugh’s primary accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Crowdfunded through more than $134,000 contributed by nearly 3,000 donors, the ad was organized by several organizations and companies, including Godfrey Dadich Partners, which designed the ad, and ColorBox Industries, which created the digital assets.
“For generations, men have taught boys to disrespect girls,” says W. Kamau Bell, a signer of the ad and host of
CNN’s United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell. “Worst of all, boys have been taught that it’s ‘manly’ to disrespect women. Then those boys grow up and teach the next generation the same thing, and the cycle continues. Right now, men who know that is a toxic environment for all have to speak up, believe women, and break the cycle.”
Here’s the full ad that appears in today’s NYT:
Groups involved in the ad’s creation include the Phenomenal Women Action Campaign and Futures Without Violence, whose male board members published the statement of support. All money raised above the cost of the print ad will be donated to Futures Without Violence to support violence-prevention programs in middle schools and high schools.
More than 4,200 people signed the online petition, far exceeding the goal of 1,600 needed for the ad.
“The #1600Men campaign is an essential step for men to take in order to end sexual violence,” says Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network. “In 1991, Anita Hill courageously shared her experiences with the world, and 1,600 black women stood behind her and beside her. Today, we’re asking men to take a stand and pledge to end sexual violence—and more than 4,000 have answered the call. We’ve been here before, but this time, we have a chance to do it right. Working together, we can end sexual violence—once and for all.”
Here’s a look back at the original ad that ran supporting Anita Hill in 1991: