Black Girls Vote
Nykidra Robinson, who had worked in the Baltimore mayor’s office and the governor’s office, launched Black Girls Vote on Nov. 30, 2015.
The date was not picked randomly. Black Girls Vote is a Baltimore-based nonpartisan, nonprofit organization designed to inspire back girls to use the political process. And, Nov. 30 was the birthday of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress (in 1968).
Not surprisingly, Robinson named Shirley Chisholm as one of two people who influenced her to become a leader. But the first person she mentioned was her mother, Sherri Fraling.
“My mom sacrificed a lot for me and my siblings,” she explained, noting that her mother did not go to college but made sure her daughter had the opportunity to do so. “There is nothing that she would not do for her children and grandchildren. And she does it all despite weathering her own storms.
“She models strength and determination in every part of her life, and she taught me what it means to truly be a leader. I admire her to this day.”
Working in the mayor’s office as a neighborhood liaison laid the groundwork for her work as a leader, Robinson said.
“I helped to empower people by explaining all the various ways for them to get involved in the political process, apart from voting,” she explained. “I like to think that some of those conversations laid the foundation in my head for Black Girls Vote because while it is great to know your power, it is even more meaningful to help others realize theirs.