Former United States Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod will be a keynote speaker at a two-day summit at Florida A&M addressing agricultural and environmental issues this weekend.
The summit themed “Embracing Our Traditions of Partnership,” is scheduled to take place on the FAMU campus on Friday, Feb. 18, and Saturday, Feb. 19.
The purpose of the summit is to bring key partners and stakeholders together at the planning table in an effort to collectively frame an agenda that addresses sustainable agriculture for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and 1890 Land Grant institutions over the long term.
The summit will officially open on Friday evening, with a plenary session presided over by Makola Abdullah, Dean of FAMU’s College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture. Sherrod will provide the keynote address.
“We are most powerful and most impactful when we connect with the community; farmers, students, activists, and others we can empower to help us help them,” Abdullah said.
Last summer, Sherrod found herself in the center of controversy after an edited video of a speech she gave at a NAACP banquet falsely depicted her as a racist. Sherrod has since filed a defamation lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart over the video released on his website BigGovernment.com that ultimately led to her dismissal from the USDA.
Sherrod will be speaking at 6:30 p.m. on Friday in Perry Paige Auditorium.
Kaishawn Foster, 21, said that she’s excited to hear Sherrod speak at the summit on these issues.
“I think it’s a great idea that they are open to the opinions and suggestions of people in my age group. I definitely plan on going and I happy that they also made it free for FAMU students.”
Other confirmed speakers are Hip Hop Caucus Executive Director Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Florida State Rep. Alan Williams and Environmental Thought and Activism Walter A. Hill along with many others.
According to a press release, Hayes, executive director for the Southeastern Green Network, also known as the SoGreen Network, believes the university has proven time and again their intent to lead the way in promoting today’s Green movement. The upcoming Summit is more evidence of the role the school continues to play.
“I can’t think of a more appropriate and logical time or place for this event to happen,” said Hayes.
Several student green activist groups on campus including the FAMU Green Coalition, Environmental Sciences Student Organization, the Environment and Sustainability Council, the Student Government Association and the student-run, campus-based PRodigy Public Relations Firm, have all signed on to provide volunteer support and input for this important event.
Registration is required for attending the “Embracing Our Traditions of Partnership” Summit. The basic registration fee is $99. The Summit is free for FAMU students and $10 for non-FAMU students. However, students attending the Summit luncheon on February 19th must pay $32. Farmers who want to attend the Summit may apply for scholarships.