Shirley Chisholm was a groundbreaking Black politician who championed and advocated for many, including the Black community. The first Black woman elected to Congress, her primary school in Barbados was renamed in her honor.

According to Essence, Chisholm was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Caribbean immigrant parents; her father was from Guyana, and her mother was from Barbados. Her parents sent her to live with her grandmother in the latter when she was 3 years old, and she spent most of her early years in Barbados. While there, she attended the Vauxhall Primary School, which was renamed the Shirley Chisholm Primary School in April, Barbados Today reported. 

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, dignitaries, guests, and the school community attended the renaming ceremony. During her address, Mottley said it’s the country’s duty and honor to how Chisholm lived her life—bringing equality, equity and empathy “to all that we do.” 

“And there shall be no boundaries or limits to who we are and what we can achieve,” Mottley added. “I believe that in every one of us there is potential, it is for each of us to determine what is it that we do best and it is for each of us to believe in ourselves to know that we can chart new territory and new ground even when the electricity goes off.” 

Mottley shared that she’s looked up to Chisholm throughout her career, and she hopes that renaming the school after the New Yorker will set “the example of her life” and “equally inspires” students. 

“I make the point all the time that the energy and confidence that our children show in the playground must be shown in the classroom, in the church, in the places of employment, in any environment that they enter because they must not be intimidated by any space whatsoever and they must believe that no one is better than them, but they are equally, not better than anyone,” she said.

Mottley also announced that more plans to honor Chisholm are coming. 

“When the Congressional Black Caucus was here last year, we indicated that we wanted to celebrate the life of Shirley Chisholm in an appropriate way,” she said. “It is not an accident, I believe, that our Independence Day, our Republic Day, is the birthday of Shirley Chisholm. It’s an amazing coincidence.” 

The Prime Minister revealed that “from November 30th this year, one year of celebration here and in the United States of America to celebrate the life as we celebrate the centennial anniversary of this great Barbadian woman, Barbadian and Guyanese if we are to be fair.”

In addition to the primary school’s new name, a mural, bust and signage were unveiled to attendees, all celebrating different aspects of Chisholm’s extraordinary life.