About Us

Our Mission

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 Team

In alphabetical order by last name

Denise Abdul-Rahman

Alignment Initiatives Co-Manager

Vikky Angelico

Administrative Assistant, Executive Team

Photograph of Kelly Baker

Kelly Baker

Regional Community Organizer

Desiree’ Barber

Assistant to the Chief Programs Officer

Photograph of Mary Black

Mary Black

Narrative Strategy and Strategic Communications Manager

Dr. Bernice V. Campbell

Chief Impact Officer

Dawnyell Harris

Senior Project Manager

Photograph of Jonathan Holmes

Jonathan Holmes

Chief Strategy Officer

Josie Karout

Executive Assistant

Cassandra Kelly

Senior Project Manager

Photograph of Elizabeth Mathis

Elizabeth Mathis

Research and Policy Associate

Thomas Minor

Alignment Initiatives Manager

Photograph of Vickash Mohanka

Vickash Mohanka

Transformational Climate Finance Manager

Olivia Montgomery

Black Femme Wellbeing Program Manager

Photograph of Yudith Nieto

Yudith Nieto

Cultural Strategy Manager

Jacqueline Patterson

Founder & Executive Director

Pamela Pugh, DrPH, MS

Chief Programs Officer

Photograph of Natalie Rivas

Natalie Rivas

Research and Policy Manager

LaShawn Roberson

Project Manager

Jenille Scott

Popular Education Manager

Photograph of Lynda Seward

Lynda Seward

Chief Operating Officer

Carlson Swafford

Legal Associate

Photograph of Cara Thuringer

Cara Thuringer

Resource Hub Manager

Advisory Committee

In alphabetical order by last name

Photograph of Karen Abrams

Karen Abrams

Member, Advisory Committee

Photograph of Mariah Barber

Mariah Barber

Member, Advisory Committee

Photograph of Katherine T. Egland

Katherine T. Egland

Chair, Advisory Committee

Photograph of Denise Fairchild

Denise Fairchild

Member, Advisory Committee

Photograph of Adrienne L. Hollis

Adrienne L. Hollis, PhD, JD

Member, Advisory Committee

Dr. Afia S. Zakiya

Member, Advisory Committee

Our Inspiration

Our work is inspired by the life and legacy of Shirley Chisholm

1924

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.

1924

1942-1946

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.

1942-1946

1951-1960

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.

1951-1960

1968

Elected to Congress

Chisholm was the first African-American woman in Congress. 

1968

1972

Presidential Candidacy

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.

1972