What is the Shirley Chisholm Project?

The Shirley Chisholm Project of Brooklyn Women’s Activism is a repository of women’s grassroots social activism in Brooklyn since 1945 and ongoing in the present. The archive consists of documents and other materials, including oral histories, from people who knew or worked with Chisholm, as well as from the extraordinary diversity of women’s activism in Brooklyn. The Shirley Chisholm Project’s goal is to sustain Chisholm’s legacy as a path breaking community and political activist. Click here for more information on the Shirley Chisholm Project.

Meet Shirley Chisholm

Born in the U.S. of immigrant parents, (November 30, 1924-January 1, 2005), she lived in the Caribbean as a child, returned to Brooklyn as a teenager, and graduated in 1946 from Brooklyn College. Immediately she plunged into activism with a variety of educational, religious, immigrant, community, political, and social organizations. In 1964, she was elected to the New York State Assembly and in 1968 was the first African American woman elected to Congress (from Brooklyn’s twelfth congressional district). In 1972 she was the first African American and the first woman to mount a serious campaign for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the US. She received 151 delegate votes. As a feminist, civil rights activists and internationalist, Chisholm championed the rights of the economically and racially marginalized, and was an ardent supporter of childcare and education for all.