Here’s what the Shirley Chisholm monument in Prospect Park will look like

The winning Shirley Chisholm Prospect Park monument design was submitted by artists Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous. Photo Credit: Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous

The artists described their design as a celebration of Chisholm’s legacy as the first black congresswoman.

The winning Shirley Chisholm Prospect Park monument design was submitted by artists Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous.
The winning Shirley Chisholm Prospect Park monument design was submitted by artists Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

An entrance to Prospect Park will soon be home to a 40-foot steel monument of former New York Rep. Shirley Chisholm intertwined with the U.S. Capitol.

The monument is the first to be commissioned by the city’s She Built NYC initiative, which aims to create more statues to memorialize women who have had lasting impacts on the city. 

The design by artists Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous was selected after New Yorkers gave feedback on five finalists in March.

The monument will be surrounded by an
The monument will be surrounded by an “amphitheater-like” space, the artists said. Photo Credit: Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous

Williams, of Chicago, and Jeyifous, of Brooklyn, described their design as a celebration of Chisholm’s legacy as the first black congresswoman.

“We have designed a monument in which her iconic visage can be immediately recognizable while also equally portraying the power, beauty and dimensionality of her contributions to our democracy,” they said in a statement.

An “amphitheater-like” space will surround the monument with seats inscribed with names of other women who made history after Chisholm, according to the artists’ proposal. Some seats will be left open to be engraved in the future.

The monument will be at the Parkside Avenue entrance to Prospect Park.
The monument will be at the Parkside Avenue entrance to Prospect Park. Photo Credit: Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous

The monument is expected to be ready by the end of 2020 and will be placed at the Parkside Avenue entrance to Prospect Park. It is part of a $9.5 million restoration of the Parkside and Ocean Avenue perimeters. 

Chisholm, a Brooklyn native, was selected to be the subject of the first She Built NYC monument after more than 2,000 nominations from the public. Statues of Billie Holiday, Elizabeth Jennings Graham, Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías and Katherine Walker will be the next monuments commissioned by the She Built NYC initiative, the city said in March. 

Nicole Brown