The Chisholm Project

A repository of women's grassroots social activism in Brooklyn since 1945

Brooklyn Fifth Grader Speaks on Chisholm

Hi, I am Shirlla a 5th grade student from PS 316. In my class, we have been studying the struggles of African Americans.  One person in particular is Shirley Chisholm. She was the first black congress women for the New York state. What stood out to me about her is she changed the rules for the United States. I learned that Shirley and me have some things in common, we are both from the West Indies, our names in common, my mothers’ name is also Shirley, and we both are from Brooklyn. If it wasn’t for Shirley Chisholm many of the people I know wouldn’t have had the opportunities that they have been granted.
Shirley Chisholm made a speech about children in the 1960s, that was really brave. She challenged Americans to think about children in our city. The speech spoke about how males with poor education were often drafted into Vietnam. Usually the outcome of these draft resulted in family loss. Shirley Chisholm saw the hypocrisy in these times. A nation that was still under-going radical change hadn’t change. So Shirley called everybody out.
Shirley Chisholm fought to receive a fair education for children in all places. I think of Shirley Chisholm as a woman who would not be afraid to give her thoughts.  She would do anything to advance America.


Shirrla is a fifth grade student at p.s. 316 Elijah G. Stroud Elementary School, School of Excellence for All Students, Brooklyn, NY.  We are so proud of her accomplishments, and by giving this speech about the great Shirley Chisholm, she has started a chain reaction making her a Catalyst for Change.

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