Skidmore Prize Winners

Willamette Week awards the Skidmore Prize to four young Portlanders who work every day to make Portland a better place and to preserve the community-oriented nature of the city we all know and love. If you’ve ever wondered who’s really making a difference in our community, look no further.

The winners are featured below. This year's finalists included: Xilax Callier (Outside In), Katie Cox (Equi Institute), Danielle Elowe (Rahab's Sisters), Whitney Shervey (Outside In), and Sula Wilson (North Pole Studio)

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 the beginning of the Give!Guide campaign. Photos by Aaron Lee.

Sponsored by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

2021 Prize Winners
cameron whitten cameron whitten

Age 30, Founder and CEO of Brown Hope

If the Portland nonprofit world has a true superstar, it’s cameron whitten. They’ve spent the last decade on the front lines in the fight for social justice—holding hunger strikes on the steps of City Hall, campaigning for LGBTQ rights and even running for elected office, including the mayorship. But they’ve made their greatest impact as the founder of Brown Hope, an organization dedicated to supporting Oregon’s communities of color through a variety of programs and initiatives, most notably the Black Resilience Fund, which last year managed to distribute $2 million in financial assistance for Black Portlanders in need.

Read More
Lou Lé Lou Lé

Age 32, Founder and Executive Director of The Kindness Farm

In October 2020, Lou Lé had the idea to start a small-scale farm to distribute free, fresh produce to Portland’s increasing number of food justice organizations. By January, she had secured 1.25 acres of land in Pleasant Valley and all the material needed to start growing radishes, kale, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables. Since then, Kindness Farm has provided over 5,000 free meals and produce boxes for houseless Portlanders and low-income neighbors experiencing food insecurity.

Read More
Gerard Rodriguez Gerard Rodriguez

Age 25, Associate Director of Tribal Affairs at Willamette Falls Trust

As the director of tribal affairs for Willamette Falls Trust, Gerard Rodriguez is engaging with Oregon’s Indigenous population on how best to integrate Native perspectives and traditions into the development of the Willamette Falls Riverwalk in Oregon—the first of several projects aimed at honoring tribal history and traditions across the state.

Read More
Kendra Johnson Kendra Johnson

Age 35, Deputy Director of Impact NW

It’s said that everyone is one unforeseen disaster away from ending up on the street. Kendra Johnson has spent the past 13 years laying out safety nets across Portland. As the deputy director of Impact NW, Johnson helps connect 20,000 households annually with the services that prevent the city’s most vulnerable populations from falling into homelessness, whether its food assistance, addiction recovery, parenting support or job training.

Read More
Site by Roundhouse Agency