"If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair."

- Shirley Chisholm


The Chisholm's Chair Fellowship (CCF) is a training initiative designed to support Black and Latinx women along their public leadership development journey as they explore and consider pursuing publicly elected and appointed office.

St. Louis has an unprecedented opportunity to cultivate a new generation of leaders who are accountable to the community, collaborative, committed to transformational policy and systems change, and driven by a vision larger than themselves to usher our region towards a day where all communities prosper and thrive.

Goals for Chisholm’s Chair Fellow Development:

  • Gain clarity on which position of regional power you are interested in pursuing and establish a timeline for going after it.
  • Articulate a clear story-of-self that communicates a vision for change and identifies policy solutions to address systemic issues. 
  • Build the knowledge and connections to run a well resourced and strategic campaign for local elected/appointed office. 

At the Chisholm's Chair Graduation in May 2023, we will celebrate

  • Your successful completion of WEPOWER’s second Chisholm’s Chair Fellowship. 
  • Your individual and collective growth as leaders across the Greater St. Louis region.
  • Completion of  a Public Leadership Development Plan, a Personal Website that articulates which policies we care the most about, and a Campaign Plan. 
  • Leveraging of your expanded network of supporters, cheerleaders, donors, advisors, and sister-friends to seek publicly appointed and elected leadership positions.

Who Should Apply?

Identity + Qualifications

  • You self-identify as Black/African-American and/or Hispanic/Latinx.
  • You self-identify as a woman.
  • You will be at least 18 years of age or older by the start of the cohort (September 30, 2022).
  • You are a City of St. Louis, St. Louis County or East St. Louis  resident.

Mindsets, Beliefs + Skills

  • Vision + Values. You “get it.” Chisholm’s Chair is for women who understand that the way things are, isn’t okay. To borrow the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, "you're sick and tired of being sick and tired." You see that the systems that are supposed to make our lives better are often hurting the most vulnerable people in our communities. And you want to, have to, do something about it!
  • Movement. You are deeply rooted in your community or the St. Louis region at large, demonstrated by active involvement or participation in community groups, civic organizations, school networks, religious groups, etc.
  • Identity Development + Commitment to Equity. You are committed to equity and comfortable talking about race, class, gender, and the various intersections with a variety of stakeholders.
  • Coachability. You recognize that you're not perfect and welcome constructive feedback to help you flourish.
  • Story of... You, like all of us, have a story to share. You've thought about your story, how you've gotten to where you are, and are ready to engage others, using your story to build collective power in the pursuit of transformative change.

Connect With Us

Have additional questions, suggestions, or want to learn more? You can email Nikki Peterson.

You can also set up a time for a virtual, 30-minute coffee chat to learn more about Chisholm's Chair and to see if the program is the right fit for you and your leadership journey!

Ready to bring your chair to the table?

Know a phenomenal Black or Latinx woman you think should apply? 


Kristin Brown

Educator, Special Schools District of Saint Louis


Alderwoman Shameem Clark-Hubbard

Alderwoman of the 26th Ward of the City of St. Louis


Marissa Cohen

Fair Housing Education and Outreach Coordinator, St. Louis Metropolitan Equal Housing and Opportunity Council


Liliana De La Garza

Case Manager, The MICA Project


Jazmyn Holton

Congressional Staff Assistant


Sydni Jackson

Content and Program Coordinator at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


Sandra Keely

CEO, SK2 Enterprises


Ly Syin Lobster

President, PASS Administrative Support Services


Gwendolyn Logan-Craig

Educator, Normandy Schools Collaborative


Councilwoman Phedra Nelson

Ward 1 Councilwoman, Ferguson and Community Wellness Director, Gateway Region YMCA


Jacqueline Person

Retired Educator, St. Louis Public Schools


Karen Rojas Davila

Ph.D Candidate at Saint Louis University


Dr. Jovon Willis

FA Support Specialist, Edward Jones