THE ICON: Ruthie Frierson
THE LEGACY: Ruthie Frierson was always an enthusiastic New Orleanian, as a successful real estate agent and as a volunteer engaged in myriad causes to improve the city she loves. But Hurricane Katrina’s devastation presented a challenge of a different magnitude. After seeing that a move to reform Louisiana’s fractured network of levee boards was languishing in Baton Rouge, Frierson set up a group to make change happen. In addition to holding legislators’ feet to the fire on that issue — and pushing for one Orleans Parish assessor’s office while they were at it — Frierson’s Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans embodied what would become a post-Katrina wave of activism, fighting the good fight and inspiring others to follow suit.
THE ARTIST: Saegan Swanson
THE INSPIRATION: “I went from mourning to rage to hope through action. It brought a renewed sense of hope at a time of total despair.” — Ruthie Frierson, on her emotional journey after Hurricane Katrina