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Living & Learning

Environmentalist Majora Carter at GSU

Majora Carter found an abandoned puppy out in the rain in 1998.  At the time Carter was fighting against a huge waste facility that lay in front of the East River waterfront.  Her small area of New York City was handling more than 40% of the entire city’s commercial waste as well as other sewage plants and other industries that brought thousand of diesels trucks to the area each week.

She was contacted by the parks department about a $10,000 seed grant initiative to help develop water front projects. Carter had lived in the South Bronx area for the majority of her life and knew that you could not get to the river because of the many facilities in that area.  One morning while jogging with her dog she pulled Carter in what seemed to be an illegal dump and through all of the garbage at the end of the lot was the river.

“I knew that this forgotten little street end abandoned like the dog that brought me there was worth saving,” said Carter.  That street end grew to become the proud beginnings of a community led revitalization of the new South Bronx.  Hunts Point Riverside Park became the first waterfront park that the South Bronx had had in 60 years.  This little park was the first stage of building a greenway movement in the South Bronx.

Earlier this semester Environmentalist Majora Carter spoke for nearly an hour to a packed audience at the Performing Arts Center at Georgia Southern University.  Sponsored by Center for Sustainability and Campus Recreation & Intramurals (CRI), Carter was brought to campus to help promote the new idea of sustainability.

“Before Carter came to the school I was aware of being “green” but hearing Carter speak she has educated me on sustainability,” said volunteer Byron Miller.  The Center of Sustainability for Georgia Southern defines sustainability as the ability to meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Carter lives in an environmental justice community.  Carter explains that environmental justice means that no community should be saddled with more environmental burdens and less environmental benefits than any other.  Carter stressed that just because a person lives in the city does not meant that they have to sacrifice being green.

“Listening to Carter brought to me more awareness of being green in the college environment.  Doing things like turning off lights, recycling, riding bikes, and not being wasteful are all ways that everyone can make a difference,” said audience member Tesia Reed.

Watching Carter talk brought a lot of inspiration to me and made me feel like I should do something locally to make a difference.  Baby steps can lead to big changes someone just has to start it off.

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