THE ICON: Millie Charles
THE LEGACY: After starting her post-college life as a teacher in north Louisiana, Millie Charles realized her calling: to help children and their families find ways to solve problems. This led to a master’s degree in social work and a career of working not only with families but also with whole communities to try to set things right during the Jim Crow years. (“Life was exciting then,” she said of those days.) As if that weren’t enough, she established the School of Social Work at Southern University at New Orleans in 1965.
THE ARTIST: Sean Randall
THE INSPIRATION: “She always challenged us to do more. If you were mediocre, that wasn’t enough when you weren’t doing as much as you could do. She could push. It made all the difference in the world because she wanted to make sure we had the capacity to keep moving on.” — Ronald McClain, president and CEO, Family Service of Greater New Orleans