Q&A with Tanya Harris


Tanya Harris, Make It Right’s community outreach manager, is one person you definitely want to meet at Greenbuild in New Orleans.  Tanya is a life-long Lower 9th Ward resident and an accomplished community organizer. On top of that, she’s one of the most fun people we know! (Read her New Orleans recommendations for visitors here.)

At Greenbuild this year, Tanya is participating in a panel with green building leaders Majora Carter and George Bandy. Inspiring Sustainable Communities and Change Through Storytelling will feature masterfully told stories from George, Majora, Tanya and others about community, sustainability, and the power of people in creating inspiring and high-performing places.

This is one session you don’t want to miss! Get a jump on Greenbuild and get to know the amazing Tanya – we asked her a few questions about the panel and what she’s looking forward to at the conference this year.

Hey, Tanya! Is this your first Greenbuild?

Yes, this is my first Greenbuild! I’m looking forward to learning about the community impact and ripple effect of green building in diverse communities.

You’re on a panel with Majora Carter, one of the leaders of the green movement in urban communities. What do you find inspiring about Ms. Carter’s work?

Majora’s work has given greater access to information to low and moderate income communities as well as affecting the policies that govern health, jobs, resources and sustainability in these communities. She has filled a gap in green – effectively communicating the long-term value and benefits of sustainability to marginalized communities and how they translate into long-term benefits.

The panel is about how we communicate about green building – what stories we can tell that will inspire others to join the movement. Can you give us a preview of what you’ll be sharing?

My story will center around listening. Brad Pitt’s initial interaction with my community started with him saying the sentence “I’m listening.” That sentence is scarcely uttered to folks in working-class and working-poor communities and certainly wasn’t being uttered to folks in Lower 9th Ward following Katrina.

I will talk about how Make It Right’s simple act of listening to the community sparked a relationship built on respect that has fueled the success of our project, restoration of infrastructure, economic development and the rebirth of this historic neighborhood.

Thank you, Tanya! We can’t wait for your Greenbuild debut! Remember to mark your calendars for Tanya’s panel and check out all of Make It Right’s events at Greenbuild this year.


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  1. Hi, I would like to know how I can find info on installing solar panels on my home. I have run into a lot of resistance from some of the companies in my area. They are resistant because I live in the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and they are only willing to work with the suburbs. If you could please provide me with any information on how I can set up solar power to my home please contact me. You guys do good work for communities and I thought you might give me some direction with this. Thank you.