We Love It: Shirley Chisholm monument planned for Brooklyn
Shirley Chisholm is coming to Brooklyn’s back yard.
The de Blasio administration announced Friday — on what would have been Chisholm’s 94th birthday — that a city-funded monument honoring the political trailblazer will be erected at the Parkside entrance to Prospect Park.
Chisholm, who died in January 2005, was the first black woman elected to Congress and the first African-American to seek a major party’s presidential nomination.
The announcement also comes on the 50th anniversary of Chisholm’s election to the House of Representatives.
Chisholm, a Democrat and Brooklyn native, was elected in 1968, representing central Brooklyn. She ran for president in the 1972 election.
“Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s legacy of leadership and activism has paved the way for thousands of women to seek public office,” Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, first lady Chirlane McCray, said in a statement.
“She is exactly the kind of New York woman whose contributions should be honored with representation in our public spaces, and that is now being realized with She Built NYC,” McCray said.
Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development, called Chisholm “a fearless trailblazer who broke barriers and had an unrivaled commitment to justice.”
“From standing up to congressional leadership to taking bold bipartisan action, Rep. Chisholm made sure everyone knew she was ‘unbought and unbossed,’” Glen said. “There is no one more deserving than Rep. Chisholm of a statue honoring her life and legacy; may New Yorkers of all backgrounds be inspired by her story.”
The planned statue of Chisholm is the first monument commissioned as part of “She Built NYC,” a new city initiative to construct public monuments honoring Big Apple women who have changed history.
The initiative allowed the public from June to August to submit the names of women they would want to see turned into a monument.
Through women.nyc, members of the public submitted close to 2,000 nominations of women, groups of women, and events in women’s history that they believed should be permanently memorialized.
According to the de Blasio administration, 98 percent of participants said they would like to see a woman honored who was committed to social reform or justice.
The most frequently used word in the submissions was “first,” followed by “leader” and then “advocate,” the administration said.
The Chisholm monument will be installed by the end of 2020 and the artist who will design it will be announced in 2019, officials said.