August 24th, 2010
10:14 AM ET
13 years ago

Sherrod declines USDA job offer

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="Shirley Sherrod has declined a job offer from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack."](CNN) - Shirley Sherrod said Tuesday that she has enjoyed her work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and "would want to see that work continue."

But she add, "I just don't think at this point with all that has happened" that it is possible to continue working at the department. "It doesn't mean I'm not interested in that work, because I am," she said.

She said she needs to "take a break" from the events of the past few weeks, but looks forward to "some type of relationship with the department in the future."

"We need to work on issues (of) discrimination and racism in this country, and I'd certainly like to play my role," Sherrod added.

Filed under: Shirley Sherrod • USDA
July 22nd, 2010
08:05 AM ET
13 years ago

Sherrod offered new job, but says she is not so sure

(CNN) - A former Agriculture Department employee who was forced to resign from her job based on incomplete and misleading reports of a speech she gave has been offered a new job by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, but said Thursday she is "not so sure."

"I'm not so sure that going back to the department is the thing to do," Shirley Sherrod told CNN's "American Morning."

Sherrod said she was offered some type of civil rights position in the department's Office of Outreach, and that she was expecting to receive something official in an e-mail from the department. She said Thursday she had not had a chance to see that yet.

But "I would not want to be the one person at USDA that's responsible for issues of discrimination within the agency," she said. "You know, there's a lawsuit by black farmers, there's a lawsuit by Hispanic and Native American and women farmers ... There are changes that would need to happen in order to once and for all really deal with discrimination."

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Filed under: Agriculture Department • Shirley Sherrod • USDA
July 21st, 2010
10:42 AM ET
13 years ago

Congressional Black Caucus releases statement on Sherrod firing

Washington (CNN) - The Congressional Black Caucus released the following statement today on the firing of USDA employee Shirley Sherrod:‬

‪“It is troubling that Shirley Sherrod was asked for her resignation as Georgia State Director for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture because of an edited video clip. A full review of the clip demonstrates Ms. Sherrod’s personal transformation. She was clearly educating the public about the power of redemption. It is now apparent that Secretary Vilsack did not have all of the facts available to him and overreacted.‬

‪“The Congressional Black Caucus continues to believe that Ms. Sherrod was unfairly asked to resign, without due process and should be reinstated immediately. There are many individuals still serving in the Department of Agriculture who were responsible for years of discrimination against African American farmers.‬

‪“We also believe that a national dialogue on race must be held. Last November, we held a forum on race in Washington DC to begin the discussion. The basis for Ms. Sherrod’s resignation is another example of why we must not sweep race under the rug. Rather, we must come together as a nation and recognize that we do not live in a post-racial era and that while difficult, we must confront these issues head on with clarity and without fear.‬

‪“Ms. Sherrod has been an effective public servant and it would be tragic to lose a person of such caliber, competence and commitment to fairness and equality and one who has dedicated her life to working for a more perfect union.”‬

July 21st, 2010
08:51 AM ET
13 years ago

White House says review needed of Sherrod firing

(CNN) - A White House official tells CNN a "longer look" now needs to be taken at the circumstances surrounding the firing of USDA official Shirley Sherrod.

"We're not sure what the ultimate result will be, but it's clear that with new information through the full speech, a longer look needed to be taken," the official told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. "The White House contacted the department last night about the case and agreed, based on new evidence, that it should be reviewed."

A White House official told CNN Tuesday night that President Obama had been fully briefed after Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's original decision and fully supported that decision. Vilsack says he's now willing to conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts.

Filed under: Obama administration • Shirley Sherrod • USDA • White House
July 21st, 2010
08:28 AM ET
13 years ago

Former USDA official: Department's reconsideration is 'bittersweet'

(CNN) - A black former Agriculture Department official who resigned under pressure after a video clip surfaced of her discussing a white farmer said Wednesday the agency's decision to review her case is "bittersweet," but said she isn't sure she would accept her job back if it is offered.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said early Wednesday that he will review the case of Shirley Sherrod, who resigned Monday after the video clip first appeared on a conservative website and later on Fox News.

In the video, Sherrod, the former USDA director of rural development for Georgia, seems to tell an audience at an NAACP function in March that she did not do her utmost to help a white farmer avoid foreclosure.

However, Sherrod later said the clip only shows part of her comments, and that she tells the story of her experience - from nearly a quarter century ago when she was not a federal employee - to illustrate the importance of moving beyond race.

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Filed under: Agriculture Department • Shirley Sherrod • Tom Vilsack • USDA
July 20th, 2010
07:50 AM ET
13 years ago

USDA employee resigns over statements about white farmer

Washington (CNN) - A video clip showing an African-American woman who later became an Agriculture Department employee seeming to say she had not done her utmost to help a white farmer save his farm was taken out of context, she said Tuesday, and fails to include the point of her story - that people need to move beyond race.

Shirley Sherrod, the department's state director of rural development for Georgia, resigned Monday after conservative media outlets aired the video, in which she says she did not give the white farmer "the full force of what I could do" to help him avoid foreclosure.

"I was speaking to that group, like I've done many groups, and I tell them about a time when I thought the issue was race and race only," Sherrod told CNN's "American Morning" from her home in Albany, Georgia. The incident took place in 1986, before she worked for the USDA, she said. "I was telling the story of how working with him helped me to see the issue is not about race. It's about those who have versus those who do not have."

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Filed under: Agriculture Department • Shirley Sherrod • USDA