FedEx honors civil rights icons at diversity forum

(WMC-TV) - The national head of the NAACP got a standing ovation at FedEx Wednesday when he spoke at a company-wide forum on diversity.

The event honored local civil rights leaders and celebrated the lives of two local legends.

"I said, there's more to being black than what you see," said motivational speaker Flo Roach.  "And what you hear."

Through motivational speakers and students from Stax Music Academy," employees were encouraged to become mentors who work to make all children better.

"Let us remember that our kids still need that mentoring, tutoring, that love, and all of us make ourselves a committee of one to see that some child gets touched," said civil rights activist Maxine Smith.

Civil rights icons Smith and Rev. Billy Kyles were honored at the forum for their constant fight against racism and discrimination.  Former University of Memphis basketball coach Larry Finch was also honored, along with Memphian Luke Weathers, the Tuskegee Airman who passed away recently.

The keynote speaker for the forum was NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous.  Jealous said if America is to be great, education must improve for children of all races.

"Japan educates their children 230 days a year," said Jealous.  "In this country, we're lucky if it's 180."

As the audience came together in song, speakers echoed the message that when it comes to diversity, a lot has been accomplished but there is still more to be done.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.