Shirley Sherrod is the director of field operations for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives in Georgia. For more than 30 years, Shirley has devoted her life to the civil rights movement by working on social justice issues.
Through her work at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, she developed a program of outreach, education, and technical assistance for small and limited resource farmers throughout Georgia. She also serves as the Georgia State Lead for the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc., Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative (SRBWI). SRBWI promotes the first human rights agenda in the United States aimed at eradicating historical race, class, cultural, religious and gender barriers experienced by southern rural black women. The initiative is a three state initiative operating in 77 counties in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Two other organizations involved in this initiative are the Children's Defense Fund in Mississippi and the Federation of Childcare Centers in Alabama.
Shirley's work began in 1965 as an organizer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Southwest Georgia Project. She helped to start the land trust, New Communities, Inc., that had 6,000 acres of land.