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The Promised Land : About

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There are visionaries among us — men and women with innovative ideas about changing lives and transforming communities. You may find them in the far-flung corners of the world or right down the street. With The Promised Land, a new series from Launch Minneapolis, host Majora Carter seeks out these extraordinary yet everyday people and reveals their dreams and struggles — what inspires and challenges their work and their lives. From neighborhoods in east Belfast grappling with a polluted river to kids interviewing for Green Jobs Corps in East Oakland, The Promised Land promises a steady stream of powerful radio.

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  • Majora Carter

    Majora Carter founded Sustainable South Bronx, in 2001 - when very few people were even talking about "sustainability," and even fewer, in places like the South Bronx. By 2003, she coined the term "Green the Ghetto" as she pioneered one of the nation's first urban green-collar job training & placement systems. Her organization spearheaded new policies and legislation that fueled demand for those jobs, improved the lives of New Yorkers, and served as a model for the nation.

Latest Stories from The Promised Land

Last updated: Thursday, October 30 2014 04:42 PM

Building Healthy Hives with Marla Spivak

Wednesday, November 30 2011 07:50 PM

Marla Spivak, a bee lover, bee researcher, and MacArthur Genius shows Majora that there's more to the honeybee than honey. Related Episode:  15 Short Audio:  Audio_Extra_Marla_Spivak.mp3 Short Picture:  102.jpg Short Thumbnail:  13.jp

Reinventing the Farm with Cheryl Rogowski

Thursday, November 24 2011 08:00 AM

Cheryl Rogowski, a fourth-generation farmer and the first farmer to win a MacArthur 'Genius' Award, gives us all some food for thought. Related Episode:  16 Short Audio:  Audio_Extra_Cheryl_Rogowski.mp3 Short Picture:  01.jpg Short Thumbna

Wes Jackson

Thursday, November 17 2011 08:00 AM

For the first half of his career, Wes Jackson was an academic. At 41, he was a tenured professor at California State University, establishing one of the first environmental studies programs in the country. And at 41, Wes Jackson decided to begin the othe

Pedro Sanchez

Thursday, November 10 2011 08:00 AM

Growing up in Cuba, young Pedro Sanchez's life was all planned out - he was going to follow his father's footsteps, by studying at Cornell and eventually taking over his father's business. But when his parents lost everything in the Cuban Revolution, Ped

Cheryl Rogowski

Monday, November 07 2011 08:42 PM

Where does our food come from? Since we pay close attention to so many aspects of food in the holiday season, host Majora Carter visits the northern reaches of the New York metropolitan area, where Cheryl Rogowski, a fourth-generation farmer, grows 200 v

Marla Spivak

Monday, November 07 2011 07:47 PM

When you sit down at your holiday table, thank a bee. A third of the food on your plate is made possible by these pollinators, whose numbers are being decimated by disease and colony collapse disorder. But the bees have a champion in Marla Spivak, a Univ

Carl Safina

Thursday, November 03 2011 08:00 AM

Carl Safina fell in love with birds first. As a child, he bred pigeons, and as a young ecologist, he worked to protect wild birds that he called "living jewels." But those birds led him to his most enduring love - the ocean. When studying seabirds, he re

Baldemar Velásquez

Thursday, October 27 2011 07:00 AM

Growing up in a family of migrant farmworkers, Baldemar Velásquez spent his childhood in the fields, planting, weeding, and harvesting crops like sugar beets and berries. Short Audio:  Baldemar_Velasquez.mp3 Short Picture:  baldemar.jpg Short T

Sharon Hanshaw

Tuesday, April 26 2011 07:53 PM

When Hurricane Katrina hit East Biloxi, Mississippi, it destroyed Sharon Hanshaw’s home and the hairdressing business she had built over a lifetime. It also transformed her from cosmetologist to activist. episode thumbnail:  ... read more

Wilma Subra

Wednesday, February 23 2011 08:00 PM

Chemist Wilma Subra has spent her career defending local communities against Louisiana’s powerful oil and gas industry. She received a MacArthur Fellowship for helping “ordinary citizens understand, cope with and combat environmental issues.” When t

Reimagining a Way of Life

Wednesday, February 23 2011 07:43 PM

Vietnamese American fisherfolk in the Gulf region are trying to rebuild their lives — opening sustainable farms, gas stations, nail salons, and aquaponic projects — while also dealing with the mental anguish that surfaces when a lifetime on the water sud

Nat Turner

Friday, January 28 2011 10:29 PM

For Nat Turner, garden rakes and shovels are tools for transformation. He's transformed an old store in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward into an urban Eden. Blair Grocery is now both a nontraditional school and an urban farm run by youth who’ve dropped out

Kyshun Webster

Friday, January 28 2011 09:00 PM

Dr. Kyshun Webster is a man who gets things done. And before that, he was a kid who got things done. Now the founder and executive director of Operation Reach, an extensive family of programs for kids throughout the Gulf South, Kyshun has been working to

Winona LaDuke

Friday, November 12 2010 05:21 PM

Outspoken, engaging, and unflaggingly dedicated to matters of ecological sustainability, Winona LaDuke introduces host Majora to the pine forests, lakes, and windswept plains of the White Earth Reservation; and she talks about harnessing wind power, nutrition and diabetes, preserving heritage ...

Walking the Walk with John Francis

Saturday, November 06 2010 07:47 PM

John Francis spent decades of his life walking across continents, carrying a backpack, a banjo, and a message of respect for the earth. He takes host Majora Carter to his hometown of Cape May, New Jersey, and tells her how, through walking this country,

John Francis

Friday, November 05 2010 07:47 PM

Decades ago, in response to an oil spill off the coast of California, John Francis made a vow to give up riding in motor vehicles, and stepped out on a walk. And he kept on walking for the next 22 years. Wherever he went, he carried a message of respect

Seeing Sweet Possibilities in Weeds

Friday, October 22 2010 06:05 PM

Brenda Palms Barber, the force behind a transitional jobs program that employs ex-offendors to make honey, shows Majora the view from her office window in Chicago. Where some might only see weeds, Brenda sees possibility. Related Episode:  7 Sh

Brenda Palms Barber

Thursday, October 21 2010 06:05 PM

Brenda Palms Barber wasn’t always drawn to beekeeping. But her quest to find work for residents of Chicago’s economically disadvantaged North Lawndale neighborhood — where some 50 percent of adults have been in the criminal justice system — led her to st

Conquering Fears in Yosemite

Wednesday, September 29 2010 11:24 PM

Leaders can emerge in surprising places, as host Majora Carter found out when she went to Yosemite National Park and crawled through a cave with teenagers. Short Audio:  YosemiteBounceFinal.mp3 Short Picture:  20-Peterman-1.jpeg Short Thumbnail

Audrey and Frank Peterman

Wednesday, September 29 2010 10:24 PM

If Frank and Audrey Peterman have their way, many more of their fellow black Americans will visit our national parks. They take host Majora Carter to Yosemite, where she crawls through a hundred-foot cave and meets Yosemite’s only permanent black park ra

Live: A Conversation with Wyclef Jean

Monday, September 13 2010 04:37 AM

In a show recorded live before an audience at WNYC Radio’s state-of-the art Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, Majora Carter sat down with Grammy Award-winning musician Wyclef Jean for a lively conversation on his work as an artist, activist,

Climbing into the Canopy

Thursday, September 02 2010 06:00 AM

  Short Audio:  Nalini_Bounce_2.mp3 Short Picture:  Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 1.07.30 AM.png Short Thumbnail:  Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 1.07.30 AM.png read more

Nalini Nadkarni

Wednesday, September 01 2010 06:00 AM

Pioneering researcher and "queen of the forest canopy" Nalini Nadkarni shows host Majora Carter the wonders of the Olympic rain forest — from the treetops! And the two visit a correctional facility where Nalini’s innovative Moss Project employs a team of

Work in Progress

Monday, August 30 2010 12:40 AM

Host Majora Carter takes up the subject of work — work by visionaries whose influence changes lives and transforms communities. Join Majora as she meets the next generation of urban farmers, goes behind the scenes for the greening of Hollywood, talks gre

Different Takes on the Legacy of M.L.K.

Thursday, August 26 2010 08:16 PM

Host Majora Carter takes a fresh look at the reach of King's influence. Some of the most interesting voices in civil rights today weigh in and help us gauge how far we've come. Meet a minister who suggests that King's legacy holds no meaning for today's

Earth Day Special

Thursday, August 12 2010 09:22 PM

From the Bronx to Belfast to Los Angeles, host Majora Carter navigates the intersection of environmental, social, and health issues. Learn why the new Yankee Stadium has raised questions about the use of community resources; how a £30 million project wil