Annie E. Clark

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Annie E. Clark
Annie Elizabeth Clark

(1989-07-15) July 15, 1989 (age 34)
EducationB.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Annie Elizabeth Clark (born July 15, 1989) is a women's rights and civil rights activist in the United States. She was one of the lead complainants of the 2013 Title IX and Clery Act charges lodged against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, claiming that the institution violated the law by the way they handled sexual assault complaints.[1][2] Clark and Andrea Pino, then a fellow UNC student and also a victim of sexual assault, launched a nationwide campaign to use Title IX complaints to force U.S. universities to address sexual assault and related problems more aggressively.[3][4] Clark is co-founder with Pino of End Rape on Campus, an advocacy group for victims of campus sexual assault.[5]


Clark was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the granddaughter of former congressman, Charles Orville Whitley, and attended Jesse O. Sanderson High School. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. During college at UNC-Chapel Hill, Clark was inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, the Order of the Golden Fleece Honorary Society, and the Order of the Grail-Valkyries for her service and student leadership. She was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa for her academic work. In 2011, she presented her paper, "Interpersonal Violence Policy and Prevention in US Higher Education," at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.[6]


Clark's activism stems in part from a personal experience during her freshman year at UNC.[2] According to Clark, when she sought support for the incident, a UNC school staff member "advised her that rape was like a football game, and that the next day was like being a Monday-morning quarterback where you look back and think, What would I have done differently?" as if the student were at fault.[7][8][9] In response to the lack of support, and related to learning of other students who had suffered sexual assault, Clark began research into abuse at other campuses. She eventually explored filing a challenge to the university under Title IX, a 1972 Civil Rights Act amendment that grants certain rights of opportunity to those pursuing higher education.[2]

Together with Andrea Pino, a fellow student at UNC who said she had also suffered assault, Clark began work on an OCR complaint under Title IX against UNC's administration.[10][11] In January 2013, after interviewing "hundreds of victims," Clark and Pino, in conjunction with other UNC students and alumni and one former administrator, filed a 34-page complaint against the university with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.[12] By March 2013, DOEd accepted the complaint and launched an investigation into how the university handled sexual assault cases.[13]

After the UNC case made national headlines, Clark voiced hope that the complaints filed would help bring "other stories of assault and cover-up into the light," so that change could occur nationwide.[2][14] Clark and Pino were sought out by survivors from across the country and gave them emotional support; in addition, they aided them in filing similar Title IX complaints at their own schools. The two women helped form a network of students and staff at higher education institutions across the country who united around this issue.[15][16] At a May 2013 press conference announcing filings by students at Occidental College, Dartmouth College, Swarthmore College, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Southern California, Clark issued a statement that victims of sexual violence had "reached a critical mass where we can no longer be ignored."[17][18] By 2015, some 169 colleges/universities were under investigation by DOEd under Title IX and related to their treatment of sexual assault cases.[19]

Representation in other media[edit]

  • Clark and Pino's activism are the subject of documentary film The Hunting Ground (2015), directed by Kirby Dick. (He is known for a documentary on sexual assaults in the US military.) In a kind of public shaming, the film "mentions dozens of schools by name and focuses on six."[20] The film was aired on CNN, shown at the Sundance Film Festival, and was released in national distribution in theaters. It has generated considerable controversy. Sexual assault victim advocacy groups note that the issue has been of longstanding on college campuses.[20]
  • In spring 2016, Clark and Pino published We Believe You: Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out with Henry Holt and Co. The book was named a top ten book on the Amelia Bloomer List in 2017.[21]

End Rape on Campus[edit]

In 2013, Clark and Pino co-founded 'End Rape on Campus' (EROC), a group working to end sexual violence on campuses around the country.[22] EROC helps people who have been sexually assaulted with direct resources, pro bono therapists and attorneys, and it provides assistance with filing complaints.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vivian Kuo and Michael Pearson, "U.S. to investigate UNC's handling of sex assault reports", CNN, 8 March 2013, accessed 4 April 2016
  2. ^ a b c d Annie E. Clark (2013-01-13). "Why I am Filing an Office for Civil Rights Complaint and Clery Act Complaint Against UNC-Chapel Hill". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  3. ^ Sneed, Tierney (February 27, 2015). "'The Hunting Ground' Subjects Defend Title IX Campaign". U. S. News & World Report.
  4. ^ Johnson, Rebecca (October 9, 2014). "Campus Sexual Assault: Annie E. Clark and Andrea Pino Are Fighting Back—And Shaping the National Debate". Vogue.
  5. ^ "Student-led activists movement fights to end rape on campus -". CNN. 9 February 2014. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  6. ^ "Annie E. Clark presents at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women". WomenNC. Archived from the original on 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
  7. ^ "Campus Sexual Assault: Annie E. Clark and Andrea Pino Are Fighting Back—And Shaping the National Debate". Vogue. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  8. ^ Tyler Kingkade (2013-01-16). "University Of North Carolina Routinely Violates Sexual Assault Survivor Rights, Students Claim". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-05-04.
  9. ^ Alexander Abad-Santos (2013-03-26). "Apparently UNC Thinks 'Rape Is Like Football'". The Atlantic Wire. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  10. ^ Tyler Kingkade (2013-03-21). "College Sexual Assault Survivors Form Underground Network To Reform Campus Policies". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  11. ^ Richard Pérez-Peña (2013-03-20). "College Groups Connect to Fight Sexual Assault". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  12. ^ Richard Pérez-Peña (2013-03-07). "Students Initiate Inquiry Into Harassment Reports". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-05-04.
  13. ^ "|title= U.S. Department of Education to investigate UNC's handling of sexual assault cases |work= The Carolina Mercury". Archived from the original on 2015-11-21. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
  14. ^ "Melissa Harris-Perry" (Interview). San Francisco: MSNBC. 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2013-07-09.{{cite interview}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ Stancill, Jane (June 1, 2011). "UNC-CH women wage national campaign against sexual assault". News and Observer. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  16. ^ Ginny Graves (June 2013). "Attention Rapists: You've Met Your Match". Glamour magazine. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
  17. ^ Libby Sander (2013-05-23). "4 More Colleges Are Targets of Students' Complaints Over Sexual Assault". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
  18. ^ Castellanos, Dalina (22 May 2013). "Activists Accuse Colleges of Not Responding to Sexual Assault Complaints". LA Times. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  19. ^ Gillibrand, Kirsten (2015). "Resource Center: Campus Accountability and Safety Act".
  20. ^ a b Barnes, Brook (25 January 2015). "An Unblinking Look at Sexual Assaults on Campus". New York Times. No. 25 January 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  21. ^ "2017 Amelia Bloomer List". American Library Association. 2017-01-25. Retrieved 2021-04-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ Johnson, Rebecca (October 9, 2014). "Campus Sexual Assault: Annie E. Clark and Andrea Pino Are Fighting Back—And Shaping the National Debate". Vogue.
  23. ^ Glock, Allison. "Fighting Rape on Campus: Talking with Two Heroes from 'The Hunting Ground'". ESPN W. Retrieved 5 November 2015.

External links[edit]