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UNC Prof. Nominates Blasey Ford for Distinguished-Alumna Award

Christine Blasey Ford answers questions at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (Melina Mara/Reuters )

A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor has nominated Christine Blasey Ford for a distinguished-alumna award for “speaking truth to power” by accusing then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school.

“What Dr. Blasey Ford did on September 27, 2018 was something that was extraordinary in how ordinary it was: she told the truth about a sexual assault she experienced when she was fifteen years old at the hands of Judge Brett Kavanaugh,” wrote UNC English professor Jennifer Ho in the letter nominating Ford.

Ford first accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly pinning her to a bed and groping her in a July letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, which was ultimately leaked to the press in September. The California-based Ford graduated from UNC with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1988 despite having struggled early in her undergraduate tenure due to the effects of the alleged assault.

Kavanaugh, who was confirmed Saturday as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, strenuously denied the allegations.

“Dr. Blasey Ford giving her testimony, speaking truth to power, was an inspiration for so many of us,” Ho wrote of Ford’s decision to come forward after initially requesting anonymity. “Her accomplishment is to be an alumna of integrity, who despite great personal cost to herself and her family told her story of her sexual assault and emboldened others to also find the courage to speak out against injustice.”

The distinguished-alumna award requires that the nominee make “an outstanding contribution to humanity in any walk of life.”

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