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50th anniversary of “I Have a Dream” speech

Legacy of Martin Luther King's most famous speech

What: American University experts available to discuss civil rights, speechwriting and history surrounding the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech

When: August 19 and on-going

Where:  In-Studio, via Skype, via telephone, or at American University


Leonard Steinhorn is a professor of Public Communication. His expertise includes American politics, culture and media, strategic communication, the presidency, and recent American history. He is author of The Greater Generation: In Defense of the Baby Boom Legacy, and co-author of By the Color of Our Skin: The Illusion of Integration and the Reality of Race. He has published in books, journals, the Washington Post, Salon, Politico, and International Herald Tribune, among others. Steinhorn was twice named AU Faculty Member of the Year. He serves as political analyst for FOX-5 News in Washington, DC. He teaches frequently about the impact Martin Luther King had on history and current generations.

Steven Taylor,associate professor in the department of Government, focuses on urban politics, the politics of race and ethnicity, civil rights and liberties, and political culture in the U.S. and West Africa.  Professor Taylor's published works include the book Desegregation in Boston and Buffalo: the Influence of Local Leaders. Taylor has also served on the Montgomery County, Maryland Human Rights Commission. Taylor is available to discuss the Civil Rights Act and how the March on Washington was an effort to lobby Congress for its passage. Additionally, Taylor can discuss contemporary issues related to race, civil rights, U.S. politics and African Politics.

Robert Lehrman is a professor of Public Communication. He is able to speak on the history surrounding the speech, its history, and how it ranks in the pantheon of great speeches. He is a novelist, teacher, and speechwriter for dozens of Democratic political figures including Vice President Al Gore. He’s author of the recently released book The Political Speechwriter’s Companion (CQPress 2009). Lehrman, has taught public speaking at American University since 1998, and in 2005 created SOC's first course in Speechwriting.

Clarence Lusane is the program director for Comparative and Regional Studies. Lusane teaches courses in comparative race relations, modern social movements, comparative politics of the Americas and Europe and jazz and international relations. He is a national columnist for the Black Voices syndicated news network, and has published his writings in national publications and presented them at leading American and international universities and in the international media. He is the Co-Chair of U.S. Civil Society Committee of the Brazil-U.S. Joint Action Plan for the Elimination of Racism, a government-to-government project to address the issue of racism in Brazil. Prof. Lusane is the author of The Black History of the White House.


American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.