*Reposted from Gotham Gazette. Written by Samar Kurshid*

At the height of the pandemic last year, as the city was forced to shut down, all design and construction projects were frozen including an initiative to build monuments of famous women from New York’s history. The first of those monuments, honoring Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was intended to be built by the end of 2020. But, while the design process has resumed, there seems to be no certain timeline for its completion and it seems unlikely that it will be completed this year. 

The monument of Chisholm is part of the She Built NYC program, launched by First Lady Chirlane McCray and then-Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen in 2018 in an attempt to increase women’s representation in statues across the city. When they announced the program, only five out 150 public statues across the city were of women.

The program grew out of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, which he created in 2017 to address the lack of diversity in the city’s public art and to examine the history of monuments on city property. 

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