Civil Rights Activist Shirley Sherrod to Deliver Keynote Address at WIMG Leadership Award Luncheon

Article excerpt

Civil fights activist Shirley Sherrod will be this year's keynote speaker at the Women in Municipal Government (WIMG) Leadership Award Luncheon during the Congress of Cities & Exposition in Denver. The luncheon will take place on Friday, December 3, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center.

Sherrod will take the stage to address success for women in the workplace.

As the former U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) director of rural development for Georgia, Sherrod is the first African-American to hold that position. She began her employment with USDA in 2009 after having served on the board of the Rural Development Leadership. Network.


In 1969, Sherrod co-founded a collective farm, New Communities Inc., designed to provide African-American farmers in Southwest Georgia the opportunity to farm land affordably and securely. Sherrod has worked ardently for civil rights since the 1960s. She earned a master's degree in community development from Antioch University in 1989.

This past July, Sherrod was forced to resign from her position with the USDA after video excerpts of her at a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) event were made available on an online blog. According to the blog, Sherrod's comments in the video showed how a federal executive racially discriminated against a white farmer. It later was determined that the video was taken out of context and manipulated to convey a message different from what Sherrod intended. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and the NAACP subsequently apologized to Sherrod. …