Shirley Chisholm, educator and trailblazing politician, was born in Brooklyn in 1924. She attended Brooklyn College and Columbia University earning degrees in education. She worked in day care for ten years, but became interested in politics and joined local chapters of several organizations to fight gender and racial inequality. From 1965 to 1968, she served in the New York State Assembly. In 1968, she was elected as the first black woman to serve in Congress. “Fighting Shirley” introduced more than fifty pieces of legislation to fight gender and racial inequality and poverty.
In 1972, she became the first woman and black American to seek major party nomination for president. After retiring from in Congress in 1983 she returned to teaching and remained active in women’s and African American social causes until she died in 2005. In 2019, Senator Kamala Harris held a phone bank for her presidential campaign on Chisholm’s birthday, calling it the Shirley Chisholm Day of Action, showing how the pioneering Chisholm continues to inspire women to this day.