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Sherrod urges graduates, parents to put race behind them (VIDEO ADDED)

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Photo by J.D. Sumner

ALBANY, Ga.: The former federal employee who garnered headlines around the world and an apology from the president after her termination earlier this year, urged graduating university seniors Saturday to rise above their status and work to rid the world of both black and white racism.

Shirley Sherrod, who was fired earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture following a posting of a video that was later shown to have been taken out of context on a conservative blog based on her comments about race, stepped back into the racial discussion Saturday by telling the graduates of Albany State University and their families that racism from both blacks and whites is alive and well in the U.S. and that it is up to the students to take action against it.

An Albany State alumnus and the wife of ASU faculty member Charles Sherrod, Shirley Sherrod was the keynote speaker for Saturday's fall commencement exercises in which 350 students were awarded degrees by the university.