St. Charles Avenue Magazine
Activists of the Year: Ruthie Frierson
Ruth "Ruthie" Frierson may be one of the most recognizable names in New Orleans today. For the 18 years prior to 2005, Frierson was one of the top residential realtors with Prudential Gardner Realtors, but when that fateful storm hit, Frierson knew she had to stand up and fight for the city she loves. "After Katrina I knew I wanted to be involved in our region's recovery," she says. "The need for reform presented itself in November of 2005 when the state legislature failed to consolidate and reform the levee boards in Southeastern Louisiana."
From this need for recovery Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans was born. As founder and chairman, Frierson, along with an executive committee of 11 other members, has been working tirelessly both in solo efforts and collaboratively with other nonprofit organizations to reform and rebuild the community. Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans is now her full-time profession, and Frierson couldn't be happier.
After graduating with her bachelor’s from Newcomb College in U.S. and Modern European History, Frierson and her husband Louis settled down in New Orleans to raise their family. They have two sons and a grandson. Frierson also serves on the board of the New Orleans Crime Commission, which she helped create, and is a Fleur de Lis Ambassador for New Orleans.
Frierson counts the local community as one of her biggest motivators to work so tirelessly. "My community involvement has been inspired by my faith and the evidence of need all around me. We are all connected to one another and only through listening and working together can we rebuild a better New Orleans. People and organizations from across our community have come together to work for the common good. This gives me inspiration to continue our efforts."
by Lilith Dorko