The Ashley Morris award was established in 2008 to honor and remember one of the founding members of Rising Tide, Dr. Ashley Morris. It is presented in cooperation with Hana Morris. The award is given annually to someone who embodies Ashley's fierce passionate defense of New Orleans, its people and its culture.
Past recipients are:
2006 Dr. Ashley Morris (retroactively and posthumously). Ashley was a major figure in the New Orleans Internet community and beyond. He carried his love for New Orleans literally on sleeve, or rather under it in the form of a very large fleur-de-lis tattoo. His famously fierce and profane reactions to any attack on New Orleans became legendary in the months and years after the Federal Flood. His larger than life personality still resonates as one of the inspirations for the Treme character Creighton Bernette, played by John Goodman. Bernette has been known to speak words originally written by Ashley. Ashley's blog is still available, check out the greatest hits.
2007 Matt McBride (retroactively). Matt chronicled the construction of the temporary pumps and other features of the flood protection system of New Orleans. Matt's detailed research and on site observations showed that a committed person with the right knowledge can make a difference. Matt continues to cover the work on New Orleans Flood Protection at Fix the Pumps.
2008 Karen Gadbois quoting from Gambit's January 2009 recognition of Karen as A New Orleanian of the year for 2008;
... armed with little more than a laptop and a digital camera, singlehandedly blew the whistle on the New Orleans Affordable Housing scandal, which she documented on her blog, www.squanderedheritage.com. The result? An FBI investigation, admiring writeups of her efforts in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and new respect for the power of the citizen blogger.Karen later won a Dupont Award for her work with Lee Zurik on a 50 part series exposing problems with NOAH. She also has since founded The Lens, a non-profit investigative news site that works with WDSU Fox8 on joint investigations.
2009 Ashe Dambala a.k.a. The American Zombie. Writing anonymously about the shenanigans in the City Hall IT department publishing rumors and reports from insiders Dambala had the whole Meffert/Nagin scam long before it surfaced in the main stream media. He had the goods and Meffert is now under indictment. Jason Berry has revealed he is .
Like a lot of things connected with Rising Tide the qualifications are flexible and subject to subjective interpretation. The organizers of Rising Tide will consider all nominations when deciding who to honor. The Award will be announced at Rising Tide V, August 28.
Rising Tide NOLA INC, reserves final responsibility for all decisions.
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