“The common perception was that only pimps and pushers and prostitutes were from the South Bronx. And if you are told from your earliest days, that nothing good is going to come from your community … how could it not reflect on you?”
Majora Carter’s story is at its core, an awesome example of how we can create beauty, and a sense of community where we have been told it could never exist.
Born in the South Bronx in an impoverished, environmentally polluted neighborhood, Carter left home in pursuit of her version of the American Dream — a dream she thought would be related in part to the acting and film-focused Arts B.A. she received from Wesleyan University or the Masters Degree in Fine Arts she earned from NYU.
Though her life’s work has since turned to environmental justice and ecological sustainability in urban communities, Carter’s ambition, creativity and innovation definitely reflect her artistic background. It was while she was busy pursuing her art degree that Carter founded Sustainable South Bronx— a grassroots organization addressing that community’s environmental pollution and absence of green space.
Through Sustainable South Bronx, Carter leveraged a $10,000 seed grant into a $3 million community park. She coined the term ‘Green the Ghetto’ and pioneered one of the nation’s first urban green collar job training and placement systems. Her for-profit company The Majora Carter Group LLC, provides industries with consulting services and successful green jobs strategies.
The winner of multiple industry-related awards, Carter was named by Newsweek as one of “25 To Watch” in 2007, and one of the “century’s most important environmentalists” in 2008. She was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company Magazine, and her consulting firm was named one of the 10 Best Small Businesses in the United States.
Carter currently hosts “The Promised Land”, from American Public Media, a radio show heard on over 120 stations nationwide, which recently won a Peabody Award.
“My promised land is filled with people who are of all colors, of all classes, who are in complete understanding that they have something important to contribute to the world,” says Carter. ” If everybody felt that way, this would be a world filled with giving and love and strength and power, because we knew that we had it in abundance to give.”