2008 Awards

10th Biennial Juliet Hollister Awards

2008 awards

Majora Carter, is the founder and former Executive Director of Sustainable South Bronx (ssbx.org). Her inspiration for  Sustainable South Bronx (SSBX) came after successfully challenging the installation of yet another municipal waste handling plant in her environmentally challenged community.  The mission of SSBX is to alleviate poverty, improve the environment and reduce public health costs.  Among other positive economic developments, she secured a Federal Transportation grant of $20 million for construction (2008) of the South Bronx Greenway connecting 11 miles of bike and pedestrian paths through neighborhoods to the rivers and to each other.  Over the past seven years, she has created a number of riverfront parks and green roofs and successfully implemented the Bronx Environmental Stewardship training program—thus seeding her community with a skilled green-collar workforce. ssbx.org

Ms. Carter’s vision and drive as a dynamic urban revitalization strategist earned her a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, a place on the New York Energy and Environment Transition Team, the Clinton Global Initiative’s Poverty Alleviation panel, a NYU’s Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Humanitarian Service and the National Audubon Society’s Rachel Carson Award. Other accomplishments include being named one of Newsweek’s “People to Watch in 2007” and Essence Magazine’s “25 Most Influential African American’s.” Her new PBS program, The Promised Land (http://www.thepromisedland.org/majora-carter), is the winner of the 2010 Peabody Award for best electronic media.


Russel Simmons is considered a “hip-hop pioneer” for his groundbreaking vision, which has influenced music, fashion, finance, television and film, as well as the face of modern philanthropy. In 2007, USA Today named him one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years.” Mr. Simmons is the co-founder of Def Jam Records and Rush Communications (http://www.rushcommunications.com/russell-simmons/ ) and chairman of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network  (HSAN). He is a highly successful serial entrepreneur, author of Do You! 12 Laws To Access The Power In You To Achieve Happiness and Success (2007). As a devout Buddhist and co-founder of several philanthropic organizations,  seamlessly interweaving interfaith values with corporate best practices.

His 2006 appointment to the role of United Nations Goodwill Ambassador (http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=30861) has served to further his effort to empower, entertain and educate the world’s youth through the vehicle of music and culture. As a Goodwill Ambassador he has also brought attention to a campaign to address the problems of war, poverty, and HIV/AIDS, which supports the UN Millennium Development Goals as well as the CISRI-ISP fight against severe poverty and malnutrition. His commitment to sustainable change and improving the lives of youth both nationally and internationally is a deeply personal and far-reaching life mission.


Bhai Sahib Dr. Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia is the third in succession of spiritual leaders of the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha GNNSJ (http://www.gnnsjleeds.com/) in Birmingham, UK. He has been Chairman since 1973. As one of the largest registered Sikh charities in the UK, he is engaged in an astounding range of initiatives aimed at meeting his mission of serving humanity and creation.  With a farsighted vision, Bhai Sahib embraces the concept of education deeply rooted in one’s own tradition while fostering interfaith understanding as an essential tool for forging sustainable world peace.  His work as an intra- and interfaith leader in his community and in the larger interfaith movement has brought him increasing recognition.

Bhai Sahib has extensive experience in the multi-disciplinary fields of Civil and Structural Engineering, Housing, Roads, Water Supply, Sanitation and Conservation. He grew up in Kenya and served the Zambian Government in the National Housing Authority and as a consultant to various UNHCS (HABITAT) projects. In 1972 he formed a voluntary service group to build the first Gurudwara (Sikh place of worship) in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. In recent years, Bhai Sahib has traveled to the UN to promote interfaith understanding at meetings of the Tripartite Forum for Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace.