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Sherrod to speak at Albany State commencement Saturday

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- Former U.S. Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod will be the guest speaker Saturday at ASU's fall graduation ceremonies.

The commencement is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. at the Albany Civic Center.

Sherrod was forced to step down earlier this year after an Internet video surfaced that showed her admitting that she had discriminated against a white farmer.

After the full video was released from the Coffee County NAACP meeting placed the comments in the context of Sherrod reflecting on an incident that she felt was pivotal in learning to work across racial lines, she received apologies from USDA and the NAACP, which criticized her comments in the initial video release.

Sherrod declined to accept a new job with USDA.

A native of Baker County, Sherrod graduated from Albany State University with a bachelor's degree in 1970 and earned a master's degree in community development from Antioch University.

In the 1960s, Sherrod and her husband, the Rev. Charles Sherrod, helped to form several land trusts in Southwest Georgia. She later served on the board of the Rural Development Leadership Network until 2009 when she resigned to accept the position with the USDA.