It has been over 50 years since being the FIRST Black woman elected to the United States Congress, Shirley Chisholm who was also an educator on top of being a politician is being honored with a state park in New York.
Chisholm was a pioneer for women’s rights, and in 1972, she became the first Black woman to run for President of the United States. She was birthed to first-generation immigrants from the West Indies.
The park is located in Jamaica Bay in East New York. The first portion of the 407-acre Shirley Chisholm State Park opened last Tuesday as part of the Vital Brooklyn Initiative. This is a state-funded initiative to “model for community development and wellness." It also provides funds for healthy food, community-centric healthcare, as well as educational and recreational spaces.
Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo said, “Shirley Chisholm fought to improve the health and wellness of underserved communities, a legacy we are carrying on through the Vital Brooklyn Initiative, so we are proud to dedicate this park in memory of her leadership and accomplishments." Also, congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke said, ""The opening of the Shirley Chisholm State Park is a historic victory for the Brooklyn community that will continue to help educate future generations about her legacy and empower Black women and girls to also be unbought and unbossed."
The park features a vibrant mural (see below) of the groundbreaking politician, bike/hiking trails, and large green spaces tons of plants, meadows, wetland, and wooded areas. By 2020, there will be a monument in Chisholm's honor due to the generous support of the She Built NYC Initiative.