Today we honor the brilliant women who paved the way for the rest of us. We’d like to personally honor Shirley Chisholm a woman from Brooklyn born to immigrant parents from Barbados devoted her life to serve the often forgotten. She fought for early childhood education, child welfare, domestic worker rights and women’s rights to name a few. She became the first African-American woman to be elected into Congress in 1968, Chisholm didn’t stop there and took her ambition all the way to the highest office in the land. In 1972 Chisholm declared her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President, making her the first African-American woman to do so. Although she lost the election Chisholm kept going. Chisholm was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971 and the Congressional Women’s Caucus in 1977. From 1977 to 1981, Chisholm served as Secretary of the Democratic Caucus. In 1977 Chisholm accepted a seat in the Rules Committee becoming the first black woman and the second woman ever to serve.
Brooklyn College interviews Director of The Shirley Chisholm Project about current political issues and student activism.
On this historic month we honor Shirley Chisholm!
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was born in Brooklyn, New York to Barbadian parents on November 30th, 1924. Chisholm spent part of her childhood in Barbados with her grandmother. She graduated from Brooklyn College in 1946 and earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Columbia University. Chisholm was the director of the Hamilton-Madison Child Care Center from 1953 to 1959. She went on to become an educational consultant for New York City’s Bureau of Child Welfare from 1959 to 1964.
In 1968 Shirley Chisholm became the first African-American woman in Congress in which she served seven terms. She was one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971. In a remarkable and historical move Shirley Chisholm become the first African American woman to run for the highest office in the United States of America in 1972.Her platform was giving a voice to the people who were often ignored. She believed in equality and justice for all. Unfortunately she did not win the election but she left a lasting image on the minds of many individuals. She paved the way for the likes of Barack Obama, the first African-American to become president and for Hillary Clinton who was on the footsteps of the oval.
After leaving Congress she went back to her roots and taught at Mount Holyoke College in 1983. Chisholm also found time to write two books Unbought and Unbossed and The Good Fight. On New Years Day 2005 Chisholm died at the age of 80, in Ormond Beach, Florida. On November 2015, she was awarded the distinguished Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Shirley Chisholm truly was a catalyst for change and a beacon of hope for future generations to come!
Female Political Trailblazers from New York Panelists talked about three female political trailblazers from New York: former Representatives Shirley Chisholm (D-NY), the first African American woman elected to the United States Congress; Bella Abzug (D-NY), the second Jewish woman elected to Congress; and Geraldine Ferraro (D-NY), the first woman from a major party to run for vice president. The panelists spoke about the hurdles these women encountered in their political careers and compared those to what Hillary Clinton faced in the 2016 presidential campaign. NOVEMBER 9, 2016
To watch the panel discussion click here.
Many women and men marched in various cities and countries to help bring awareness to the fight for equal rights for women, LGBTQ and anyone who feels disenfranchised. We at the Shirley Chisholm Project march in solidarity with the many brave women and men including our very own Barbara Winslow, Director Emeritus The Shirley Chisholm Project!