Majora Carter is a MacArthur “genius” award recipient for her work as “a relentless and charismatic urban strategist,” pioneering green-collar job training and placement systems through her organization, Sustainable South Bronx (SSB) in one of the most environmentally and economically challenged inner cities of the United States. She recently served as a judge in Changemakers and Community Matters' Strong Communities challenge, which used anonline competition to find innovative solutions from citizens who are collaborating to make their communities vital, enduring places.
Changemakers: You calling for a reassessment of whether philanthropy and the citizen sector is working. Why?
Carter: It worked out pretty well for a good portion of the 20th century in terms of scholarship funds, libraries, hospitals, orchestras, and museums . . . (but) the social gains that men and women died for in the labor, suffrage, civil rights, and environmental movements of the past, have been largely circumvented by outsourcing production to many countries that don’t recognize human rights, environmental protection, or democracy. Philanthropy would do more to achieve its social-justice goals by supporting jobs here in communities that need them.