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From 2001 to 2008 Majora Carter was Executive Director of the non-profit she founded, Sustainable South Bronx. There she pioneered green-collar job training and placement systems in one of the[…]

It affects everyone.

Question: How can environmentalism have greater social reach?

Majora Carter: The biggest challenge is it’s interesting being what’s considered a local group, but with a national profile. Because we’re not supposed to be doing some of the things that we’re doing.

Being a black female leader isn’t always the easiest thing to be. Because we’ve gotten some really tremendous, beautiful attention. But the biggest thing is that the work that we’ve done in the South Bronx should be replicated all over the place.

What we are dealing with sometimes is that: "Because it only could work in the South Bronx."

I’m like, “No. that’s not true. If it can work in the South Bronx, it could work anywhere else, frankly.”

But making sure that understand that poor people really should and could be a part of their own future development. It’s a crazy thing for people to recognize.

I’m from one of these communities, and I don't have an environmental background, at all. I simply saw a problem and wanted to help fix it. But I think I’ve got enough street credentials and enough experience right now, but it is difficult, you know, being in the situation sometimes.


Recorded on: April 18, 2008