Majora Carter Introduced by GCF at Food + Enterprise Summit

April 11, 2016  |   Posted by :   |   Blog   |   Comments Off on Majora Carter Introduced by GCF at Food + Enterprise Summit»

On Saturday April 9, Green City Force’s own Jen Tirado delivered the following speech introducing Majora Carter at the 2016 Food + Enterprise Summit, flanked by members of GCF’s Urban Farm Corps.

“Good afternoon everyone. I’m Jen Tirado, Director of Urban Agriculture Initiatives and Land Improvement at Green City Force.

I would like to begin by saying how amazing this Food and Enterprise summit is and how lucky Green City Force is to live in this building on the 8th floor. To have the summit be hosted here is exciting. Thank you for including us.

Green City Force (for those of you who don’t know) engages young adults from public housing as AmeriCorps members in training and service related to the environment. We are working towards a “green city” built on principles of sustainability, social, economic and environmental justice. We inspire passion for sustainability and service for young people living in public housing communities across New York City. The young leaders joining me today represent our current corps of 74 members and nearly 300 alumni.

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Urban Farm Corps Members meet with Majora Carter at the Food + Enterprise Summit in Brooklyn.

The Corps Members here are part of GCF’s Urban Farm Corps, which is leading a major initiative through which we will build five new urban farms within public housing communities in partnership with NYCHA, the City of New York, many community and funder partners, and our resident volunteers. We are currently halfway through building a farm in Howard Houses in Brownsville which will grow 2 tons of food for local distribution once it’s completed. For those in the room looking for talent, this outstanding group will be graduating at the end of the year and seeking a start to careers related to healthy food and the green economy – I urge you to get to know them!

It is truly an honor to stand here today on behalf of Green City Force to introduce the keynote speaker – truly a personal honor. My life passion starts with Majora. I had learned about Majora as a young college graduate living in the South Bronx, where I was born and raised. Majora’s courage, delivery, passion and real life action toward solution was incredibly moving to me and many others. She is my generation’s s-hero. I had a serious “aha” moment after witnessing Majora’s work and I had desired to one day meet her when I too had made an impact. My father would tell me: “One day you will be in the same room as Majora Carter, your idol”- and I would say “I wish!”, but thought it would never happen. After ten years of activism, study, hard work I am here with you Majora in the same room- it is a full circle moment.

Our Green City Force Corps Members who are present today have anticipated meeting you- a real life change agent from the Bronx- how lucky are you guys to meet her three weeks after learning about her! And it took 10 years for me.

Majora, your courage and leadership as a champion and a fearless woman from the South Bronx inspired me as it has so many others. Green City Force is directly descended from your groundbreaking work. Our Corps Members are the talent who will drive this movement forward, as they work hard daily building large scale farms for local/organic food hubs in NYCHA developments and are our next generation farmers.

Majora has done much more than be my inspiration:

Majora Carter is a world-class leader who defies categories while excelling in them all: an urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation & successful implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training and placement systems.

After establishing  Sustainable South Bronx and Green For All (among other organizations) to carry on that work, she built on this foundation with innovative ventures and insights into urban economic developments designed to help move Americans out of poverty.

Her long list of awards and honorary degrees include groups as diverse as News Corp, Center for American Progress, as well as a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. Her 2006 TEDtalk was one of the first six videos to launch their groundbreaking website. Majora is a Board Member of the Andrew Goodman Foundation.

Majora has continually set new standards of excellence with projects in her South Bronx community, while expanding her reach through philanthropic pursuits and business interests that have all pointed toward greater self-esteem and economic potential for low-income people everywhere.

Please join me in welcoming to the stage Majora Carter.”

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