At our Breakfast Talk, “Shirley Chisholm: The Person and the Park,” we explored the history and legacy of Shirley Chisholm in the context of the new waterfront Shirley Chisholm State Park in East New York. Given all of the activities surrounding the Congresswoman from the opening of the new state park to marking the 50th anniversary of her becoming the first African-American woman in Congress, 2019 offers an important moment to learn more about Chisholm herself and the ways in which our community keeps her history alive. Panel participants spoke about the unique transformation and development of the Fountain Avenue landfill into the Shirley Chisholm State Park.


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Our Speakers

Shola Lynch

Shola Lynch is an award-winning American Filmmaker best known for the feature documentary FREE ANGELA & All Political Prisoners and the Peabody Award winning documentary CHISHOLM ’72: Unbought & Unbossed. Her independent film body of work and her other collaborative projects feed her passion to bring history alive with captivating stories of people, places and events. Since 2013 she has also served as the Curator of the Moving Image & Recorded Sound division of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. 
Learn more about her work here.

Nathan Kensinger

Nathan Kensinger is a photographer, filmmaker, artist and curator based in Brooklyn, New York. His work explores hidden urban landscapes, off-limits industrial structures, unnatural waterways, environmental disaster zones and other liminal spaces. He has been documenting New York City’s changing waterfront for the past decade, in an ongoing series of photo essays published every two weeks. His photographs have been exhibited by the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Museum, the Queens Museum, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, and in numerous galleries. Learn more about his work here.

Leslie Wright

Leslie Wright is the New York City Director at New York State Parks, where she oversees the eight NYS parks in New York City, including the newest state park, the Shirley Chisholm State Park. Prior to joining NYS Parks in 2014, Wright practiced law in both the public and private sectors. From 2007 to 2011, Wright led land conservation planning and acquisition as the New York State Director at The Trust for Public Land. Wright holds a JD from Brooklyn Law School, an M.A. in Chinese Literature from the University of Michigan, and has very happily resided in Brooklyn for 30 years — next to a park.