A while back we posted about people who inspire us. I wrote about Bruce Mao, but at 12am when I was polishing that post, I realized who I should have been writing about– Majora Carter!
Majora was giving a lecture at NeoCon when I was in college and my friend Brandi asked me if I would like to come. It was called “greening the Ghetto.” The title was so intriguing …
This lecture CHANGED MY LIFE. Majora was a black woman who grew up in the Bronx. After she received her BFA, she moved back home and kept seeing this run down park, as were many parts of the Bronx. She decided to write a grant to transform the space and now she employs hundreds of people in NY and takes run down spaces to beautiful, inviting, family friendly, GREEN community spaces. She changed New York and changed the lives of people living in the Bronx.
Now there is so much more depth to her story, (hence why I was crying like a baby during her lecture), but the moral of the story is she touched me in a way nobody else could. Design school was rough. It was a place that was about 90% Caucasian, 80% kids with wealthy parents, and 99.9% uninviting. I was none of these things and honestly had a very difficult time finding my way… Harrington had a 73% drop-out rate, so often times once you found a friend, they were gone the next semester.
I said all of this to say– her words made me more comfortable with who I was as a designer and where I was going with my career. As cheesy as it sounds, this is when I became comfortable in my own skin at Harrington. Thanks Majora!!