Majora Carter: A Hero for Everyone

In celebration of Ada Lovelace Day, I’m writing about one of my heroes, Majora Carter of the South Bronx in New York.

While leaders all over the world were talking about environmental issues and new green technologies, Majora had a vision beyond technology to revitalize her urban community in the South Bronx.

Majora hit the world stage when she spoke about her “Green the Ghetto” success at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference in 2006 (a must-see video shown above). Her TED bio provides a good synopsis:

Majora Carter is dedicated to fighting ‘environmental racism’ in her hometown of New York’s South Bronx. She’s working not just to hold back the polluters who target neighborhoods like hers, but to bring back the green.

Given all she has accomplished, I worry there’s nothing I can say in this brief post that will do it justice. What I do know is that she inspires me and reminds me that anything is possible when you have a clear vision and commitment.

Guy Kawasaki praised her TED presentation in his blog:

She is every bit as good as Steve Jobs [a legendary presenter]. (Maybe better when you consider she doesn’t have a dozen minions supporting her.) Heck, she’s even a MacArthur Fellow (aka, “genius award”)! On the one hand, I would hate to speak right after she does; on the other, it would be a wonderful challenge.

Do me a favor, watch her presentation and soak in her passion and her story. And check out some of what’s she up to:

Happy Ada Lovelace Day  — a day of celebrating women excelling in technology. I’ve stretched the “technology” definition a bit because Majora is taking things to new heights, making sure technology beneifts people and the environment in all neighborhoods.

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