Recognizing those who are making a difference for the underserved
THE LOWENSTEIN TRUST
2014 Lowenstein Trust Awardee Selected
Igancio (holding award,) stands with Portland City Council and Lowenstein Trust board members in Council chambers.
The Lowenstein Trust is proud to announce, in recognition of his longstanding commitment to advocacy, education and support for Portland’s day labor and immigrant communities, Ignacio Paramo, of the Voz Workforce Center in NE Portland, has been selected to receive the 23rd annual Steve Lowenstein Award. The award was presented in Portland City Council, December 3rd, 2014.
Ignacio with family and Voz co-workers outside Portland City Council chambers.
Having worked as day labor in California and Oregon for several years, Ignacio Paramo, eventually made his way to Portland where for the last 15 years he has dedicated himself to helping others with similar life stories become stable, self-sufficient, and prepared to compete for full time opportunities in the workforce. He has also worked his way up from volunteer to Workforce Center manager. He strives to be visible, accessible, example of what can be done through work, support from others, and a commitment to self improvement.
Ingacio, working with Voz staff and volunteers, focuses on insuring day laborers work in safe conditions, are treated with respect, and receive proper compensation from employers. The Voz Workforce Center helps workers understand their civil rights and works with volunteer lawyers and law students to help protect those rights, including the recovery of unpaid wages. The center offers English language classes, computer skills training, and has formed partnerships with construction trade organizations to offer skill development opportunities. Ignacio and his Workforce Center colleagues have also been working with City officials and law enforcement to improve community relations with Portland’s day labor force, and working on the future of the Voz’s Workforce Center site.
Ignacio has expressed his appreciation for the award (which included a $7.5K check to the VOZ Workforce Center), his appreciation for ongoing support from Portland City Council, his appreciation for his coworkers and the volunteers at VOZ, and his pride in joining the ranks of the past recipients of the Lowenstein Trust award. He will continue to his efforts give others the opportunity to become successful individuals and contributing members of the Portland community.
Click to read - Oregonian newspaper article about the 2014 Lowenstein Trust Award
Ignacio Paramo, 2014 Lowenstein Trust awardee
Your financial support helps make our annual award possible. We have recently added an online donation page (see link at the top of this page ) to this site to make it easier to donate. Please consider making a donation to help the Lowenstein Trust continue its mission.
Photos: Art Alexander
Steve Lowenstein was an inspiring model of public service. His sense of purpose, his integrity, and his perseverance inspired many who have worked on issues of human rights and social justice. He joined the Peace Corps after law school in the early 1960s and wrote a textbook on Ethiopian law. He worked in Washington DC for the Office of Economic Opportunity and in Chile for the Ford Foundation. He was founding Director of Oregon Legal Services, developed the funding mechanism for legal aid, authored a groundbreaking history—The Jews of Oregon 1850-1950—and at the time of his death in 1990 had served for six years as Executive Assistant to former City Commissioner Mike Lindberg.
The Award -Steve liked most to have an impact from behind the scenes. His will established a board managed endowed trust fund for the Lowenstein Trust award with the following stipulation:
“The recipient of the Lowenstein Trust Award shall be that person who demonstrated (in the opinion of the Trustees) the greatest contribution to assisting the poor and underprivileged in the city of Portland, Oregon. Each year the recipient must be in need of these funds to help carry on his or her work and must use the award to further the type of work for which it was given.”
Art Alexander, Linda Dobson, Jamaal Folsom, Sandra Haefker, Michelle Harper, Margery Harris, Joe Hertzberg, Marc Jolin, Paul Kelly, Mike Lindberg, Ron Paul, David Thornburgh, Charles R. Williamson
Gretchen Kafoury, Chris Lowenstein, Lee Rosner, Bev Stein
Contact/ Mail Contributions:
The Lowenstein Trust
c/o Charles R. Williamson
520 SW Yamhill St., Suite 600
Portland, Oregon 97204-1329