2020-21 Shirley A. Chisholm Online Seminar Series

Political Activism through the Lens of Shirley Chisholm

The Shirley A. Chisholm Online Interactive Seminar Series honors the legacy of Shirley Chisholm's leadership and activism and underscores the ways in which Chisholm has paved the way for thousands of women to seek public office in New York State and the United States. The series presents a monthly interactive online interdisciplinary seminar designed for students, faculty, and staff to participate in a group experience that highlights the legacy and activism of Shirley Chisholm.

Speakers will discuss their research and or professional or personal experience in the following areas: 

  • Framing and analysis of colonial and neo-colonial systems and structures 
  • Shirley Chisholm's legacy and political activism 
  • The Caribbeanization of Black politics 
  • The visibility of women of color in politics past and present 
  • Student activism – “Campus to Community; Community to Campus” 


WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16, 6-7 p.m.

Black Women's Hair Matters: The Uneasy Marriage of Electoral Politics and (Dis)Respectability Politics 

Dr. Nadia E. Brown
Associate Professor, Purdue University 

The act of balancing racialized/gendered stereotypes and one’s self-presentation is often a difficult negotiation for Black women candidates and elected officials. Yet, this issue is often seen as frivolous or trivial in mainstream discussions of candidates and is not discussed in political science literature. In this talk, Dr. Brown will examine the importance of and challenges surrounding their personal appearances on the campaign trail or within legislative bodies to conclude that respectability politics influences the self-presentation of Black women political elites.


WEDNESDAY, OCT. 21, 6-7:30 p.m.

The Discrimination Against Shirley Chisholm as a Congresswoman and Presidential Candidate 

Dr. Sharon D. Wright Austin
Associate Professor, University of Florida

Dr. Wright Austin will discuss Shirley Chisholm’s early political activism, congressional career, and bid for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination. During the 1960s and early 1970s, few Black women held or competed for political offices because “women organized, men led.” Women organized political and civil rights efforts, but few ran for office themselves. Dr. Wright Austin will discuss the vehement, blatant discrimination Congresswoman Chisholm encountered because of her race and gender. She will also discuss the fact that her experiences motivated other Black political women in later years.


WEDNESDAY, FEB. 24, 6-7:30 p.m.

Pandemic and Beyond

Dr. Jelia Domingo
Associate Professor, Empire State College 


In recent years, there has been a major push to infuse technology into every aspect of education and prepare students for the future by requiring its use in the classroom and at home. What happens, however, when students do not have internet access at home? And if they do have access to the internet, how do parents help their children when learning materials have not been distributed for reference? This presentation will explore the widening gap between families and schools, made wider by the almost complete dependence on technology and internet capabilities for access to knowledge.


Contact Us:

Dr. La Tasha A. Brown
Program Manager
Shirley A. Chisholm Center for Equity Studies
55 Hanson Place, 9th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(845) 563-9905 ext. 3458 | (845) 391-5009