Dr. Majora Carter addresses public health, poverty alleviation, and climate change as one of the nation’s pioneers in successful green-collar job training and placement systems.
She founded and led Sustainable South Bronx, an environmental justice solutions corporation, from 2001 to 2008. Sustainable South Bronx was created from the belief that you shouldn’t have to leave your neighborhood to live in a better one. This idea has proven to have environmental and economic implications that span the globe.
Her first major project was writing a $1.25M Federal Transportation planning grant for the South Bronx Greenway with 11 miles of alternative transport, local economic development, low-impact storm-water management, and recreational space. This led to the first new South Bronx water front park in over 60 years.
While needed parks are highly visible manifestations of her work, the real focus is creating intensive urban forestation, green roofing/walls, and water permeable open spaces. This robust horticultural infrastructure cleans the air, reduces urban heat island effect, efficiently manages storm water run off, calms the soul, and creates jobs – reducing poverty. In 2003, Majora coined the term “green the ghetto” as she pioneered one of the nation’s first urban green-collar job training and placement systems – Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training program (BEST) – and spearheaded legislation that fueled demand for those jobs. By 2008 BEST boasted an 85% employment rate with 10% in college. Many of these success stories were formerly incarcerated, and all of them were on some form of public assistance before completing the nationally recognized 10-week course. Her local and global environmental solutions rest on poverty alleviation through green economic development, because the local jobs they create can empower communities to resist bad environmental decisions.
Since 2008 Majora’s green-collar consulting company, the Majora Carter Group LLC, has explored Climate Adaptation, Urban Micro-AgriBusiness, and Leadership Development strategies for business, government, foundations, universities and economically struggling communities.
Fast Company Magazine named her one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. The NY Times described her as “The Green Power Broker,” and the Ashoka Foundation’s Changemakers.org dubbed Majora Carter “The Prophet of Local”.
Majora’s 2006 TED talk was one of six presentations that launched their site.
Majora hosts the Peabody Award winning public radio series: The Promised Land, and serves on the boards of the US Green Building Council, and The Wilderness Society. She has a long list of awards and degrees, including a MacArthur “genius” fellowship, an award from John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, and a Liberty Medal for Lifetime Achievement from Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post.