Majora Carter started with her own neighbourhood and now, she is a leader in the world of sustainable business.
First of all, there is often a misconception that to fight for the environment, you need a national park or plot of pristine nature to protect. This is not true. Marjora Carter took back the rights to her local community’s park. She did this by fighting environmental and economic injustice. Indeed, all of her achievements have been built on a foundation of this first park initiative. Importantly, she has shown us that we can and should reclaim our own communities.
Beginnings |How it all began
Majora Carter was running with her dog one day in her neighbourhood of the South Bronx. Suddenly, her dog pulled her into a vacant lot. This lot, strewn with trash and weeds, was an illegal dumping site. More importantly, it was a waterfront property to the Bronx River. Of course, Carter saw it’s potential, and immediately set about creating a park there. She secured a large grant.
Majora Carter was born in 1966 in the South Bronx. She grew up in a troubled time for the bronx. Originally, the Bronx was a northern borough of New York City and mostly working class white families lived there. However, black families moved into the area in mid 20th century when ‘white flight’ occurred. As a result, big banks stopped investing in the area. This was a problem.
Landlords torched their buildings so that they collect insurance money. These disused buildings were levelled in order to make a highway. NYC took steps to be connected to surrounding rich suburban areas and this only added to the trouble for the Bronx. New York City’s Elite put policies in place that resulted in a much higher density of polluting facilities in the Bronx. Unfortunately, race and economic class seem to correlate in areas like this. The Bronx was a prime location for environmentally harmful facilities, like waste treatment plants. Carter was raised in this scene of neglect and knew she had to change the standard.
Future | What next?
Carter has gone on to do many amazing things since this first project. She puts green economy and green economic tools to use in many communities. She has unlocked the potential of many projects. Furthermore, she is an icon.
“I believe you don’t have to move out of your neighbourhood to live in a better one”