Alumna Continues MLK’s Dream

Taylor Jackson ’14 wasn’t alive when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. But today, she receives career advice from USF Visiting Diversity Professor Clarence B. Jones — friend, legal counsel, and speechwriter to King, and the person who most helped King craft the speech.

“I’ll be telling my grandkids about getting the opportunity to learn from him,” says the theology and religious studies grad, of the civil rights icon. Jackson, now a consultant for the California State Legislature’s labor and employment committee, took Jones’ class From Slavery to Obama her junior year — coincidentally, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Jones’ lessons of changemaking inspired Jackson to work in politics when she graduated. Her first job was working as a legislative aide for California Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, D–West Covina, where she advised on laws that legalized physician-assisted suicide and created a state Native American Day holiday.

“Even if I don’t work in government in the future, I know I want to be in a field where I’m making a positive impact,” Jackson says.