2021 Chisholm List

Higher Heights for America is proud to present our Shirley Chisholm 2021 Sisters to Watch List, which celebrates and recognizes 21 Black women who assumed control of American politics to become “architects of democracy” in 2021.

These 21 women not only have inspired future Black women politicians, but they also serve as the embodiment of decades of work that is now coming to fruition. At the same time, they are truly blazing new trails.  They have boldly stepped off the sidelines and they are walking in the leadership legacy of Shirley Chisholm, a true maverick who 52 years ago was sworn in to become the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress.

Chisholm also entered office at a moment when our country was challenged by divisive ideologies and policies, but she refused to let these divisions detour her work to enact progressive policies that ensure civil and human rights opportunities for all Americans. So, in honor of Chisholm’s legacy, Higher Heights is proud to present this list that highlights Black women whose elected and appointed leadership will help shape and advance America’s political agenda.

Chisholm 2021 – Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States Profile Picture

In 2020, we saw history being made when Kamala Harris became the first woman, the first Black person, and the first South Asian person on a major-party general election presidential ballot, as well as the first woman, the first Black person, and the first South Asian person to win the vice presidency. #BlackWomenLead #Chisholm2021

Chisholm 2021 – Letitia “Tish” James, New York Attorney General Profile Picture

Letitia “Tish” James is the 67th Attorney General for the State of New York. With decades of work, she is an experienced attorney and public servant with a long record of accomplishments. She is the first woman of color to hold statewide office in New York and the first woman to be elected Attorney General. As Attorney General of New York, James has fought corruption and sought justice across many areas. #BlackWomenLead #Chisholm2021

Chisholm 2021 – Shirley Nash Weber, California Secretary of State Profile Picture

On January 29, 2021, Shirley Nash Weber, Ph.D. became California’s first Black Secretary of State, and only the fifth African American to serve as a state constitutional officer in California’s 170-year history. Weber was appointed to serve by California’s Governor Gavin Newsom to succeed Alexis Padilia after his appointment to serve as California’s junior senator. #BlackWomenLead #Chisholm2021

Chisholm 2021 – Sabina Matos, Lt. Governor of Rhode Island Profile Picture

Sabina Matos was appointed as the 70th Lieutenant Governor of the State of Rhode Island on April 14, 2021. She is the second woman and first woman of color to hold this post. Additionally, she is the first Afro-Latina, Dominican American to hold the position of Lieutenant Governor in the United States. #BlackWomenLead #Chisholm2021


Chisholm 2021 – Terri Sewell, U.S. House Representatives (AL-07) Profile Picture

Terri Sewell has served since 2011 as the U.S. Representative for Alabama’s 7th congressional district. In August 2021, Sewell introduced the landmark Voting Rights Act, known as H.R. 4, which is named after the late Georgia congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, who died last year. The Act seeks to restore a key provision of the federal law that compelled states with a history of discrimination to undergo a federal review of changes to voting and elections.  #BlackWomenLead #Chisholm2021

Chisholm 2021 – Joyce Beatty, U.S. House Representatives (OH-03) Profile Picture

Joyce Beatty represents Ohio’s 3rd Congressional district and is the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. In July, Beatty and eight other activists were arrested while protesting for voting rights in the atrium of a Senate office building. Beatty and a group of around 20 protesters demonstrated in the hopes of putting pressure on senators to pass voting rights legislation. “You can arrest me. You can’t stop me. You can’t silence me,” Beatty wrote on Twitter after her arrest. #BlackWomenLead #Chisholm2021

2021 #BlackWomenLead Reading List

In time for summer reading, Higher Heights is proud to present our #BlackWomenLead Summer Reading list.

This year’s list is filled with a variety of subjects from a group of talented Black women authors. Whether your tastes are fiction, politics, or memoirs, this year’s list is sure to provide you with a plethora of options. 

The authors on this list come from all walks of life and have perfectly infused their experiences into books that have already appeared on several bestseller lists. 

As you sit back and enjoy your summer, make sure you find time to relax with a good book from our list.