NYC Recap: Changemaker Chat with Majora Carter

Marjora Carter

Majora Carter of Majora Carter Group, LLC

“Not Now” Doesn’t Mean “Not Ever”

From pursuing a career in filmmaking to becoming an urban revitalization and economic development strategist, Majora Carter shared her transformative journey, taking us through how she overcame hurdles, dealt with the haters, empowered and transformed the communities in which she works, and how she grew to become a confident and fearless leader. In the bright, colorful hall of Spotify HQ, Majora taught us how perseverance, Christian faith, and patience served her throughout her journey – and reminded us that “not now” does not mean “not ever.”

Community = By the People, For the People
What’s the key to working with communities? Listening. Majora explained that in order to “create communities that reflect beauty on others and others reflect beauty on them,” we have to change the idea that you have to do things FOR the community, but rather WITH the community, all while utilizing and empowering local community talent.

Haters Gonna Hate
Like the rest of us, Majora is no stranger to roadblocks, hurdles, and the dreaded social-media trolls. However, she’s realized success comes from embracing opposition, not running from it. Women, in particular, have to learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Majora reminded us that the only way to grow is through real conversations and to keep in mind, it’s okay not to always be well-liked and that will sometimes happen if you strive to hold on and carry through on your own convictions.

Find Power in Purpose
While she may not have set out to become a real estate developer, Majora reflected, “I’ve been preparing for this role my whole life.”  With a strong sense of faith in herself and her beliefs, she reminded us that we all have a purpose on this planet and need to make the most of our valuable time. For Majora, her purpose is to help people so they aren’t only thinking about how hard life is, but also how wonderful it can be.

My Transformative Moment
In Majora’s 2006 Ted Talk, she called out Al Gore for being dismissive of her and her point of view. Mustering the strength and courage to publicly confront the former VP, Majora stressed the importance of knowing you have every right to have a voice. And when nerves almost get you down, she noted, “Sometimes you just have to perform to push yourself through.”

Pay it Forward
Though she didn’t recognize it at the time, Majora was mentored by several women who taught her how to be a woman who is comfortable in her own skin. Now, she sees part of her job description to be spending time with young women to remind them they are strong and beautiful, and that their voice matters.

Thank you, Majora, for inspiring us to transform confidently, find our purpose, and pay it forward.