Urban Heroes

Urban Heroes is the Urban Conservancy's annual celebration, highlighting individuals who have been instrumental in shaping our vision for a vibrant and resilient New Orleans.

We’ve been honoring our Urban Heroes since 2011.


Chuck Morse, Dana Eness, Carol Bebelle, Paul Soniat, Leonetta Terrell, Leah Chase 

Each year the Urban Conservancy honors individuals who represent our Core Values and who have been instrumental in shaping our vision for a vibrant and resilient New Orleans.

Our Urban Heroes Celebration highlights our progress as an organization and as a community to promote equitable access to our city’s and our region’s rich economic, environmental, and cultural assets.

Funds raised will help build a robust local economy founded on local ownership and help align our natural and built environments.


What makes an Urban Hero?

Hero (n)- a person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal

The Urban Conservancy is just one organization. We recognize that our work is only possible in collaboration with others. We need partnership with and inspiration from community members. People who, by doing what they do, move our mission forward; people who are great connectors between major city projects and efforts at the neighborhood level, and who are tangibly pushing toward our common goal of a New Orleans that is here for good. These are our Urban Heroes. Every year, the Urban Conservancy honors three New Orleanians that go above and beyond the average and do exceptional things for our city.

Look for our Heroes’ bike racks around town!

You can find them in front of  Urban League, Circle Food Store, the Lafitte Greenway, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, St. Peter Claver church,  Del Fuego, Bywater Art Lofts, Finn McCools, Ms. Mae’s, City Hall, Zeitgeist/Saturn Printing, NORA, McDonough 35, Massey’s, and Broadmoor Improvement Association.

Have someone you’d like to nominate? Check out the Take Action! Tab.
You can find our past Urban Heroes on the Resources Tab.

Update 4

Feb 2019

You can check out photos from our 2019 Urban Heroes celebration is this nola.com feature!

Update 3

Dec 2018

 2019 Honorees

We are thrilled to recognize the contributions of the following individuals at our Urban Heroes luncheon on February 15th. All five honorees will be recognized, and our 2019 Urban Hero will be announced at the luncheon.

Carol Bebelle | Chuck Morse | Leah Chase | Leonetta Terrell | Paul Soniat

Check back soon for details about our five honorees.

Buy Tickets Here!

Update 2

Oct 2018

Urban Heroes 2019 nominations are open! The deadline to nominate an Urban Hero is Thursday, November 15th.

Nominate someone here! 

Update 1

Nov 2016

On November 5, the Urban Conservancy recognized its Urban Heroes honorees at its annual celebration. Read more in the Mid-City Messenger.

Urban Heroes 2019

2019 Urban Hero

Chuck Morse, Executive Director, Thrive NOLA

2019 Honorees 

Carol Bebelle, Co Founder & Executive Director, Ashé Cultural Arts Center

Leah Chase, Executive Chef, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant

Paul Soniat,  Director, New Orleans Botanical Garden

Leonetta Terrell, Community Advocate, Friends of the Lafitte Greenway

2019 Event Photos

Past Urban Heroes

2016 Urban Heroes

Andreanecia Morris, Executive Director, HousingNOLA
Keith Twitchell, President, Committee for a Better New Orleans
Leora Madden, Owner, Pearl Wine Co.

With Phyllis Cassidy, Founder of Good Work Network receiving an Above and Beyond Award.

Learn more about our Heroes here.

2016  Photo Album

Urban Heroes 2015
Flozell Daniels, Jr., CEO & President, Foundation for Louisiana
Jay Nix, Owner, Parkway Bakery and Tavern
Prisca Weems, Stormwater Manager, City of New Orleans


Urban Heroes 2014
Dwayne Boudreaux of Circle Food Store
Bart Everson of Friends of Lafitte Corridor
Lee Stafford of New Orleans Eat Local Challenge.


Urban Heroes 2013
David Waggonner
Katrina Brees
Emelda Paul


Urban Heroes 2012

Massey’s Professional Outfitters
Broadmoor Improvement Association

Urban Heroes 2011

UC Cofounders: Ed Melendez, Geoff Coats
Bike-Ped Goddess: Jennifer Ruley


Urban Heroes

Who inspired you in 2018?

Each year, the Urban Conservancy honors individuals who represent our Core Values and who have been instrumental in shaping our vision for a vibrant and resilient New Orleans.  Please help us identify those special individuals whose work is taking innovative approaches to making New Orleans a thriving city. 

Find a list of our past Urban Heroes on the Resources Tab. 

Learn more about what makes an Urban Hero here!

2019 Nomination Deadline: Thursday, November 15th