Majora Carter grew up in the South Bronx while it was burning, plotting her eventual escape to Wesylan University, CT. While attending graduate school at NYU years later, cheap rent at her parents' lured her back; and within a year, she was volunteering to teach writing in the Bronx. Distance gave her perspective on how other people live - specifically with relation to dirty energy, waste, and transport infrastructure. All these things are most often concentrated in poor neighborhoods like the South Bronx.
When the Giulianni Administration tried to double the amount of waste going through her community, Majora set off on a decade-long, international sustainability odyssey that introduced her to other people and places suffering the direct human consequences of fossil fuel extraction, refining, and burning. She helped lead the successful campaign against that plan in favor of parks, greenways, and a city-wide solid waste management plan that spread the burden equally.
In the quest for healthier communities, Majora has implemented energy efficiency practices on a municipal infrastructure level - with methods to reduce electrical consumption through strategic use of "horticultural infrastructure" (plants and trees) to cost-effectively reduce Urban Heat Island Effect, improve property values, encourage active recreation, and manage storm water at the source - instead of pumping it through costly water treatment facilities - while producing good, attainable jobs for some of our "most expensive citizens" at the same time.
Majora was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business in the June 2010 issue of Fast Company, has earned numerous awards and honorary PhD's including a MacArthur "genius" Fellowship, and is host of American Public Media's: The Promised Land (thepromisedland.org ).