March is Women’s History Month, and the University of Alabama (UA) has booked a keynote speaker whose tenure as CEO of an anti-sexual harassment nonprofit ended when she privately consulted with embattled former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) amid the sexual harassment accusations levied against him in 2021.

In partnership with the University of Alabama at Birmingham's (UAB) Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), UA’s DEI is hosting keynote speaker Tina Tchen.

Tchen is an attorney and activist. According to UA’s DEI Division, she is “a lifelong advocate for women and girls.” 

She is now the executive vice president and chief strategy officer for the Obama Foundation. However, Tchen used to be CEO of Time’s Up, a nonprofit organization that raised money for victims of sexual harassment.

Tchen resigned from her position in 2021 after Time’s Up leader consulted with Cuomo, who himself resigned following several sexual misconduct allegations and dishonest practices surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cuomo was accused of sexually harassing 11 women during his tenure. Accusers claimed Cuomo groped and kissed them unwantedly and made sexually explicit comments to them.

At the time of the former governor’s resignation, the New York State Assembly had already authorized an impeachment investigation into the allegations. 

Tchen was also accused of giving feedback on an unpublished opinion column smearing Cuomo’s former adviser Lindsey Boylan, who accused Cuomo of tracking her location and inappropriately touching her.

According to text messages obtained by The Washington Post, Tchen even told Time’s Up colleagues to “stand down” from supporting Boylan. 

UA’s DEI Division Women’s History Month events started on March 1 with virtual presentations honoring Dr. Autherine Lucy Foster, the first black student to attend UA in 1956. UA’s Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRC) director of Operations and Programs Dr. Jackie Northrup hosted a “Diversity, Coffee and Conversations” event on Tuesday. Events continue throughout the month. 

The WGRC will even host a “Feminist Wikipedia Edit-a-thon” for students to “help update Wikipedia pages to reflect the histories of Alabama women.” 

Tchen’s speech will be delivered virtually on March 26 at 6 p.m. Registration is mandatory for attendance. 

1819 News reached out to UA for comment on Tchen’s relationship with Cuomo but received no response.

EDITOR'S CLARIFICATION: Cuomo continues to deny allegations against him despite his resignation as N.Y. governor, and five district attorneys have dropped his charges. 

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