TC Alumna Shirley Chisholm Is Posthumously Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
The late Teachers College alumna Shirley Chisholm (M.A. '52) is one of 17 new recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- part of a group that includes the pioneering NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson; the native American rights champion Billy Frank, Jr.; the baseball players Willie Mays and Yogi Berra; the Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim; the folk-rock musician James Taylor; and the singer, actress and Teacher College benefactor Barbra Streisand.
In 1968, Chisholm became the first African-American woman elected to Congress, where she subsequently served seven terms representing New York's 12th congressional district and fought to improve minority education and employment. She helped found the Congressional Black Caucus, played a critical role in the creation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)program, opposed the Vietnam War and eventually served as Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus.
In 1972, Chisholm sought the Democratic nomination for president -- the first major-party African-American woman to do so.
Chisholm, who earned her TC degree in Curriculum & Teaching and received the College's Distinguished Alumni Award, passed away in 2005.
Read more about Chisholm and the other Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients.
Published Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015