Skidmore Prize

The inspiration for the name of this prize: The Skidmore Fountain in Portland’s Old Town, which bears this inscription: “Good citizens are the riches of a city.”

This fall, we celebrate four remarkable individuals doing exceptional work for Portland-area nonprofits. Each Skidmore Prize winner is the embodiment of community dedication, a testament to the power of passion and purpose.

Their stories of resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment to social causes leave us awestruck and motivated to do more. In recognizing their outstanding accomplishments, we honor not just their achievements but the potential in all of us to make meaningful differences.

Winners of the Skidmore Prize must be under the age of 36 and work full-time for a local nonprofit. Winners received their awards, including prizes of $4,000, at a special luncheon held October 13.

Sponsored by Comcast

2023 Prize Winners
Ekua Hackman Ekua Hackman

34, Staff Attorney at The Commons Law Center

“I wanted to know how I could combine an interest with estate planning with wanting to help Black families build intergenerational wealth,” Ekua Hackman says. Luckily for her, she happened to meet Amanda Caffall, The Commons Law Center’s deputy director who, at the time, was actively looking for an estate planning lawyer to work with Black families. With that, a new career was born.

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Caleb Coder Caleb Coder

30, Executive Director at Cultivate Initiatives

Working with local restaurants and NGOs, Caleb Coder started holding regular “Eat and Greet” events, offering free food and a space for people in the neighborhood. “It was a safe place for our unhoused neighbors to be and exist,” Coder says. “And for our neighbors housed and unhoused to come together to interact and get to know each other as humans.”

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Ellen Wirshup Ellen Wirshup

29, Project RED Program Manager at Alano Club of Portland

“Becoming pretty well known as ‘The Narcan Lady,’ as some people have called me, is kind of strange,” Ellen Wirshup says. “I’ve been a bartender. I’ve been a host. I’ve been a server. And all these other things. Those jobs felt easy. I knew how to do that. This has been such a learning curve, I didn’t know if I’d be any good at it. I just knew that I wanted Narcan to be everywhere.”

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Juan Muro Juan Muro

35, Executive Director at Free Geek

“I really saw a vision and I wanted to see it through,” Juan Muro said. “Part of that was selfish. I wanted to find some justice for myself through this work, but being able to connect with people who are going through similar experiences and extending an arm out for work and opportunity, I get to do that every day. For me, that’s the kind of justice I always wanted.”

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