Majora Carter, Visionary Leadership Award Honoree

"I first learned of Majora Carter almost ten years ago when I watched her TED talk on Greening the Ghetto. During her talk, she shared her story of taking what was once waste land in the South Bronx and turning it into a waterfront green space. I knew then that she was someone that I needed to know.

A few years later, I was able to meet Majora while working on an interactive documentary project, Water Blues: Green Solutions, exploring how cities across the country were adopting innovative green solutions for their water resources. It was then that I was able to watch Majora at work -- her talent for bringing people together who all wanted to see a brighter future but weren’t quite sure how to get there…that is until they too met Majora.

Majora’s passion for her community in the South Bronx and communities around the world is infectious. Her desire to make life better for her neighbors, and her ability to change a life or place not by running to something better, but by making something better has been an inspiration.

Majora continues to demonstrate to all of us that we are best when we are able to identify strengths and build upon them. Communities around the world can thank Majora for her insight and drive as an entrepreneur, job creator, and one of the most creative real estate developers. Her ability to understand what a community needs and not be afraid to share that vision is a gift.

As we continue to embark on a time of unsettling change, I am proud to know that there are individuals like Majora leading us to hold up the strength of the human spirit and never give up hope. I am honored and excited to welcome Majora back to New Haven as the International Festival of Arts & Ideas 7th Visionary Leader, someone whose trailblazing work is truly impacting the world."

- Chad Herzog, Director of Programming