Shirley Chisolm

By Susan Hitchcock

TLG Women in Leadership Founder/Host

Why I Admire Her: She was a leader of great character, as well as a principled and gutsy political strategist.

At a time when as former ATL Mayor Shirley Franklin said, “Women of color are grossly underrepresented in leadership,” I’m reminded of one of my personal SHEroes.

Shirley Anita Chisholm was an American politician, educator, and author. In 1968, she became the first African-American woman elected to the United States Congress, representing New York’s 12th congressional district for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In the 1972 United States presidential election, she became the first African-American candidate for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination

Some of her most memorable quotes:

–      “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

–      “Service is the rent that you pay for room on this earth.”

–      “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”

–      “In the end anti-black, anti-female, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing: anti-humanism.”

–      “I’d like them to say that Shirley Chisholm had guts. That’s how I’d like to be remembered.”

–      When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses.”

Books by Shirley Chisolm:

Unbought and Unbossed

The Good Fight

Little Leaders