Born, raised and residing in the South Bronx, NY, Carter believes residents shouldn’t have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one. She is committed to creating intensive urban forestation with green roofing and water permeable open spaces. This robust horticultural infrastructure cleans the air, reduces the urban-heat island effect, efficiently manages storm water runoff and creates jobs.
In 2001, Carter founded the nonprofit, environmental-justice solutions corporation, Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx). Carter’s first major project was writing a $1.25 million federal transportation planning grant for the South Bronx Greenway, which led to the area’s first new waterfront park in over 60 years. Two years later, SSBx opened the Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training program (BEST) – one of the nation’s first urban green-collar job training and placement systems. After 5 years, it boasts an 85% employment rate. Carter’s local environmental solutions rest on poverty alleviation through green economic development; the local jobs they create can empower communities to resist bad environmental decisions. Carter is a 2006 MacArthur Genius Fellow, one of Essence Magazine’s 25 most influential African Americans, one the New York Post’s 50 Most Influential Women for the past two years, co-host of The Green on Sundance Channel, and a board member of the Wilderness Society. She is also president of the green-collar economic consulting company, The Majora Carter Group, LLC.
“You don’t have to move out of your neighborhood to live in a better one but you sure do have to fight if you want to reconnect your life into a more natural state that actually includes poor people.”- Majora Carter, Dirt! The Movie