Born and raised in the South Bronx, co-host Majora Carter of Sundance Channel’s THE GREEN founded Sustainable South Bronx in 2001 to fight for environmental justice through innovative, economically sustainable projects that are informed by community needs. She is a recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, a member of Clinton Global Initiative, and Co-founder of Green For All with Van Jones. In Season 2 of THE GREEN, Carter is featured in Sundance Channel’s original program “Big Ideas for a Small Planet,” winner of the of the 2007 Environmental Media Award for Best Documentary, as a green roof innovator in the episode “Grow.”
Called one of 25 people to watch in 2007 by Newsweek; one of 50 most powerful women in NYC by the NY Post; and one of the 25 Most Influential African Americans by Essence Magazine, Carter continues to live and work in the environmentally-challenged community of the South Bronx. By creating positive physical environments, demonstrating cool and green roof technologies, working to build local-value driven development, and supporting the Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training program, this “urban revitalization strategist” is demonstrating Clean-Tech solutions for resistant urban public health and global climate concerns and is creating a skilled green-collar workforce with personal and economic stakes in their urban environment.
1. What’s your favorite political movie?
MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (first movie that ever made me cry), and THE CONTENDER is a good runner up.
2. What role do you feel art plays in politics?
As a communication medium, it can be used to expose or hide the truth. Hopefully the former and in a way that is constructive.
3. What do you think is the biggest issue for the next generation of Americans?
Truth. the money involved in politics and the fear mongering used to drive opinion is stomping out the truth left and right. I doubt everyone will ever agree on everything, but there is so little basis for open conversation now because of all these lies floating around; and not enough people who are willing to stand firmly on their faith in the power of truth. When we can all be honest, we can solve anything.
4. Who was the first political candidate you were excited to vote for and why?
My local NY Assemblyman Ruben Diaz Jr. I starting working with him on local issues when I came back home and was so impressed by how fiercely he fought for his community, and Barak Obama
5. What factors are important to you in choosing a president?
An aspirational vision that takes the best of what we have and makes it greater. Credibility. Wisdom beyond their actual “experience”
6. What issues would you like to see politicians focus more on?
Domestic poverty and the myth of “free” trade, or “free” markets, or “free” speech for that matter. none of these things are really all that free – we are all paying the hidden costs everyday, and into the future.
7. Which issues would you like to see politicians focus less on?
Terrorism and war. Look at how much we spend on these now for how few (american) lives are actually affected. An aggressive seat-belt usage campaign or effective hand gun control would save far more American lives for much less money. All the hundreds of billions spent on war could have us off oil and out of the Middle East in a matter of years. All of the pollution reductions would unleash billions in domestic health care savings. All the jobs would bring so much hope and peace – starting here at home. Who could oppose these things? We are already spending the money, let’s just change its direction
8. Which candidate’s initiatives do you feel better address environmental concerns?
I assume you mean presidential candidates. Both of them talk about nuclear and “clean” coal which is unfortunate, but I am not too worried because even under Bush the Second, ground level opposition has been able to stop many of those projects. McCain’s idea that we can extract enough domestic oil to make any difference for average Americans is almost too stupid to respond to – but people like saying things like “Drill Baby Drill!”.
9. This is your soapbox – shout it out! What do you need to get off your chest?
Green the ghetto!
10. Do you have any recommended links, books or movies so people can learn more about the issues you care about?
The Green Collar Economy, Van Jones
The Man Who Planted Trees, Jean Giono