– 12 ICONS OF NEW ORLEANS –
Selected by JPMorgan Chase
THE ICON: Flozell Daniels, Jr.
THE LEGACY: Flozell Daniels, Jr. believes his passion for New Orleans stretches back to a childhood where he was surrounded by mentors, family and friends who believed in his ability to do great things.
The New Orleans native explains that this began with his mother, who gave her all to ensure he lived a fruitful life, though she was only a teen when she’d given birth. But aside from this invaluable support, Daniels credits much of his success to those who helped direct him along a path of growth and positivity.
“I consider myself a son of New Orleans,” Daniels remarks. “The thing that’s most impacted my life is the way the people of New Orleans have invested in me.”
Today, it’s clear that the investments of Daniels’ mentors have paid off and then some. Daniels currently serves as CEO and President of Foundation for Louisiana, where he’s led numerous initiatives developed to increase economic opportunity and improve social wellness for city residents. He also serves as Ex-Officio and Policy Committee Chair of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans Board of Directors, and was honored with the first-ever Distinguished Service award for his leadership in critical recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina.
Daniels is also passionate about reforms in the realm of criminal justice. Noting that New Orleans’ history is rife with prejudice exhibited through slavery and Jim Crow, he understands criminal justice reform as fundamental to creating a safer and more just city for all.
In the end, his unwavering advocacy paints Daniels as a truly exceptional figure. Even so, he’s eager to recognize those who influenced him – as he explains, “I’m just an uptown guy whose mama raised him to be humble.”
THE INSPIRATION: “I think it’s important to keep lifting up people who – like myself – don’t fit the normal profile. I don’t run a bank. I don’t have any extraordinary wealth or anything like that. But, every day, I get up and think about serving this community and think about how much I’m in love with this city and its people.”