The mission of the Chisholm Legacy Project is rooted in a Just Transition Framework. The project serves as a vehicle to connect Black communities on the frontlines of climate justice with resources to traverse the path from vision to strategy to action plan to implementation to transformation. In support of frontline leadership, the project seeks to link movements and mainstream entities with the tools necessary to advance systems change centered in equity and justice. With Black women on the frontlines of advancing systems change, this project ensures that these leaders have the support they need as they transform society from extractivism to a living economy that cares for sacred relationships between people and with Mother Earth, through regenerative, cooperative, democratic systems.
Our work is inspired by the life and legacy of Shirley Chisholm
Born in Brooklyn, NY
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was born to immigrant parents in Brooklyn, NY on November 30, 1924. Her father, Charles St. Hill, was a factory worker from Guyana, and her mother Ruby Seale St. Hill, was a seamstress from Barbados. Shirley was the oldest of four daughters.
A strong education
Chisholm graduated from Brooklyn Girls' High in 1942 and from Brooklyn College cum laude in 1946. She won prizes on the debate team. Although professors encouraged her to consider a political career, she replied that she faced a "double handicap" as both Black and female.
A career in early childhood education
After working as a nursery school teacher, Chisholm earned a master's degree from Columbia University in early childhood education in 1951. By 1960, she was a consultant to the New York City Division of Day Care.
Elected to Congress
Chisholm was the first African-American woman in Congress.
Chisholm was the first woman and African-American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties.