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Greening the Ghetto - Majora Carter

The following TED talk focuses on an essential yet overlooked element of social evils in any society. The problem with issues like discrimination & bigotry based on someone's origin is that if not confronted, these concerns end up tarnishing various other aspects of the whole community. The problems discussed herein by Majora Carter, a black New York-based environmentalist and eco-entrepreneur are exactly of such nature.

In the video, Majora discussed how racism led to environmental & economic damages for her neighborhood. She grew up in the Bronx, a small, poverty-stricken sect of New York which covers about 14% of the city and has been perpetually discriminated against. Why? More than 75% of the district's inhabitants are Blacks & Hispanic/Latinos. The small region was crammed with most of the city's waste facilities and chemical plants. The Bronx had the lowest ratio of parks to people in the city. One in 4 south Bronx children had asthma, and the region's hospitalization rates were 7 times the national average.

Majora then enunciated her neighborhood's history - her father was a son of a slave who settled in the Bronx in the 1940s. In the 1950s, White flight became common in South Bronx because of the increase in the area's black population; which "apparently" turned the Bronx into a home for pimps & prostitutes. Banks started redlining this area for any sort of investment or loans, which are in place to this date, leading to many economic disasters. She then illustrated her efforts of making her neighborhood a greener, better place; like her green roof installation business and her various efforts to fill the place with "green-collar jobs".

At last, Majora stated that there is enough precedent to show that there can sustainable community-friendly development, which will still make a fortune, sighting an example of the successful civic renaissance of Bogota, an Italian city in the 1990s. She asked the audience to help her "make sustainability the new sexy" and made a plea to make her community and their problems heard, in the pursuit of the prosperity that she had long persisted for.

Credits -

Shraey Gangwar

Batch 2021- 2023

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