Sustainability pioneer to speak at Penn State on April 22

Patricia Craig
April 11, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Majora Carter, urban revitalization strategist, green jobs pioneer and Macarthur “Genius” Award winner, will speak at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 22, in Room 100 of the Thomas Building. Her talk, titled "Home (town) Security," will be held as part of Penn State's ninth annual Colloquium on the Environment speaker series. The event is free and open to the public.

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 focuses attention on statistically insignificant 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.

She 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.

Since 2008, her consulting company, the Majora Carter Group, has been exporting climate adaptation, urban micro-agribusiness, and leadership development strategies for businesses, state and local governments, federal agencies, foundations, universities and economically underperforming communities.

Her long list of awards and honorary degrees include accolades from groups as diverse as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, Goldman Sachs, as well as a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.  Her 2006 TED talk was one of the first six videos to launch their groundbreaking website.

Carter is the producer and host of the Peabody Award winning series "The Promised Land."

Carter also produces and hosts the Peabody Award-winning public-radio series "The Promised Land," and serves on the boards of the U.S. Green Building Council and The Wilderness Society.

A gifted sustainability speaker, Majora Carter's confidence, energy and intensely emotional delivery make her talks themselves a force of nature.
Her visit follows keynote presentations by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the inaugural Colloquium on the Environment in 2004, Christine Todd Whitman in 2005, William McDonough in 2006, Amory Lovins in 2008, David Suzuki in 2009, Bill McKibben in 2010, Andrew Revkin in 2011 and Edward O. Wilson in 2012.

For more information, please visit Penn State Institutes for Energy and the Environment. Her lecture is part of Penn State's celebration of Earth Day. To view the full schedule of events, visit

The event is sponsored by University's Finance and Business Environmental Stewardship Strategy, and the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment.

For more information about sustainability at Penn State, visit, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 21, 2015