New York Environmental Justice Advocate Majora Carter to Give Annual Howland Lecture at the University of Virginia

March 11, 2008 — Majora Carter, founder and executive director of Sustainable South Bronx, a New York City organization dedicated to advancing the environmental and economic rebirth of the South Bronx, will give the University of Virginia's Benjamin C. Howland Jr. Memorial Lecture on Friday, March 14. The lecture, titled "Green the Ghetto: Why, How, and What Happens if We Don't," begins at 5 p.m. in Minor Hall, room 125.

The lecture, free and open to the public, is hosted by the U.Va. School of Architecture.

Carter is a lifelong resident of Hunt's Point in New York's South Bronx. She earned a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University before returning home to earn a master's degree in fine arts from New York University. She founded Sustainable South Bronx in 2001, successfully opposing the city's plan to process 40 percent of its garbage at a facility on the Hunt's Point waterfront.

Since then, the organization has advocated for sustainable land-use, energy, transportation, water and waste policies, and education efforts. Working in cooperation with other groups, Sustainable South Bronx has sought to build a park at the site of a former concrete plant; clean up shorelines and make them accessible to the public; establish the South Bronx Greenway, a bike and pedestrian path connecting neighborhoods and the waterfront; replace an underused and never-completed expressway with riverfront housing, retail and community and recreational facilities; and advocate for "swimmable" waterways in and around New York City.

Carter's work has garnered her numerous honors. She was named a Macarthur “Genius” Award winner in 2005, and was invited to speak about her ideas to technology venture capitalists at the national TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) event in 2006. Newsweek magazine named her one of its "Who's Next in 2007," and the New York Post last year recognized her as one of the 50 most influential women in New York City. The National Audubon Society gave her its Rachel Carson Award, and New York University awarded her its Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award.

For information about the Howland Lecture, contact Lana Elam at (434) 924-1493 or