Lowenstein Trust

Recognizing those who are making a difference for the underserved

The Lowenstein Trust is proud to announce
Paul Schroeder,
of New City Initiative, as the recipient of the
2015 Lowenstein Trust Award.
The award will be presented at Portland City Council,
9:45am, Wednesday December 9th, 2015

The Lowenstein Trust is proud to recognize Paul Schroeder’s many years of service, advocacy, and action in support of the homeless in the City of Portland. Paul has done particularly noteworthy work in building partnerships within the faith community to help meet the needs of homeless families.

Paul’s work has assisted over 150 men, women, and children make the difficult transition from homelessness to more permanent housing and enough stability for children to succeed in school and adults to gain employment. It is truly life changing at a time when hunger, child education, and affordable shelter are critical community issues.

Those who nominated Paul for the award appreciate how Paul keeps co-workers aware of privilege too easily taken for granted, and how little real distance there is between being “secure” and being homeless. Paul’s nominators feel he truly embodies the key Communal Practices of the New City initiative : Compassionate Seeing, Heartfelt Listening, Intentional Welcoming, Joyful Sharing, Grateful Receiving, Cooperative Building.

The Lowenstein Trust is proud to be a part of recognizing Paul Schroeder’s outstanding contributions to improving the quality of life for the underserved in the City of Portland.


2014 Lowenstein Trust Awardee

Igancio (holding award,) stands with Portland City Council and Lowenstein Trust board members in Council chambers.

Ignacio Paramo, of the Voz Workforce Center in NE Portland, was selected to receive the 2014 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

Chris Lowenstein, Lee Rosner, Bev Stein

Contact/ Mail Contributions:
The Lowenstein Trust
c/o Kris Wilkinson
6927 N. Oatman
Portland, Oregon 97217