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Former District of Columbia Representative to Speak at Martin Luther King Convocation

(Posted January 7, 2008)

Sabrina Sojourner, writer and lecturer

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Sabrina Sojourner, a former director of diversity programs for the National Organization for Women and a former representative to the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington, D.C., will speak at Juniata College for the Martin Luther King Convocation at 3 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16 in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Sabrina Sojourner, who is openly gay, has built a second career as a writer and lecturer. She has often given public lectures on multiculturalism and how race and sexuality can intersect. She also has an active career as an organizational and management consultant for diversity, community-building, and leadership. She has lectured and presented workshops at corporations and college campuses across the country.

A longtime activist and political administrator, Sojourner was elected U.S. Representative from the District of Columbia from 1997 to 1999. The District of Columbia representative is not a voting member of Congress but acts as a liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives on behalf of the citizens of the District of Columbia. During her term, Sojourner worked for federal representation for the District, self-determination and statehood issues.

Sojourner's stint in the House of Representatives was primarily concerned with making the views of her constituents known to members of Congress. The District of Columbia is represented in Congress by Delegate to Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton, who has limited voting powers as well. Norton has held that position since 1991.

As a writer, Sojourner has written journalism and opinion pieces for magazines and newspapers. She also published a collection of poems and stories called "Psychic Scars and Other Mad Thoughts."

Sojourner started her career in the political arena, working first as a legislative aide to Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democratic Congresswomen who represents the 35th District (in Los Angeles). Sojourner also worked as administrative vice president for the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club. She also ran and fell short in a bid for election to City Council in Washington, D.C.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.