Shirley Chisholm Award 2016 

 In 2016, Melissa Persia Oliver was honored to receive The Shirley Chisholm Award for Public Affairs presented by Sheila Y. Oliver, Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly. A politician, educator, and author, Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman elected to Congress and the first woman considered for a Democratic presidential nomination. Chisholm’s staff was all female because she believed in helping minorities, and during her career in politics she faced discrimination as a woman.

According to Assemblywoman Oliver, recipients are chosen because they “exemplify the spirit, tenacity, and innovation demonstrated by the late Shirley Chisholm.” As a female leader in business, Persia is proud of the role that her non-profit organization, Odyssey IP plays in the community as it relates to awareness and involvement.