Today's Trailblazers

Eric Meier

Jul 17, 2018

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One of the pillars of Good Grit is responsible living.

The American South is known for its history, but it’s also known for navigating the long and difficult roads into new and inclusive territories. Whether it be for civil rights, the environment, or immigrant rights, Southerners know how to take action—something we need now more than ever.

Eric Meier is a man of varied interests: healthcare technology and software in Portland, Oregon; a variety of music projects in Seattle, Washington; and economic development in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Eric grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area but went to college in North Carolina where, he says, he “discovered pulled-pork sandwiches and never looked back.”

Eric read about the Delta and Clarksdale, Mississippi in 2017 and, after a single visit, became enamored with the region. He bought a home there as well as a restaurant, which he is now renovating to bring back to its former glory. He met Bill Luckett and together they have helped develop the community of Clarksdale through the restoration of buildings in the town, encouraging not only tourism, but also a vested interest in Clarksdale from around the globe. On a typical night in Clarksdale, you’ll find people from as far away as Australia and Germany.

Eric is also involved with the Deep Blues Festival, an annual music celebration of the blues held each October in Clarksdale. According to Eric, it “sustains the legacy and roots of blues music while introducing fans to a new generation of blues artists with an edge.”

Eric’s investments in Clarksdale show that he is one of the many trailblazers in the South affecting dynamic change within their communities.

Words by Isaac Ray Norris Illustration by Jamie Harper