Heard on Campus: Majora Carter at the 2013 Colloquium on the Environment

"You don't have to move out of your neighborhood to live in a better one. We are solving big problems with local solutions."

-- Majora Carter, keynote speaker at the ninth annual Colloquium on the Environment speaker series on Earth Day (April 22) in the Thomas Building on Penn State's University Park. Carter, a south Bronx native, sees the connection between our growing urban populations and how they experience our environment — built and natural — starting in the same types of low-income urban neighborhoods where she was raised and continues to live and work. As opposed to "Homeland Security," which typically focuses on threats from abroad, Carter's theory of "Home(town) Security" starts by looking inward at how we strengthen the fabric of all our communities, and where we can grow from there.

Carter founded Sustainable South Bronx in 2001 — when very few people were even talking about "sustainability," and even fewer in places like the South Bronx. By 2003, she coined the term "Green the Ghetto" as she pioneered one of the nation's first urban green-collar job training and placement systems. Her organization spearheaded new policies and legislation that fueled demand for those jobs, improved the lives of New Yorkers and served as a model for the nation.

"There are significant barriers to this type of work. However, no matter how long the path is, each step is worth celebrating," she said.

A recording of her lecture, titled "Home(town) Security," is available here. 

For more information on the colloquium, visit http://www.psiee.psu.edu/news/colloquium.asp.

For more information on sustainability at Penn State, visit http://www.sustainability.psu.edu.

Last Updated April 25, 2013