The Steve Lowenstein Trust Board of Directors announced Dr. Leroy Haynes and Dr. T. Allen Bethel as the 2017 Lowenstein Trust Award recipients at Portland City Council’s Dec. 13 meeting.
For more than a decade, Reverend Dr. LeRoy Haynes, Senior Pastor and Presiding Elder at Allen Temple CME Church and Reverend Dr. T.A. Bethel, Senior Pastor at Maranatha Church, have actively initiated and supported local efforts to address community needs. As committed social justice and social change advocates, both have inspired others to collaboratively create a more equitable society – one march, one meeting, one food basket, one prison visit, one decent pair of shoes at a time.
Pastors Bethel and Haynes have served as advisory members for the City of Portland and Multnomah County, offering their experience, insight, understanding and wisdom on issues of racial justice, violence and gang issues, gentrification and minority contracting. Each pastor has actively worked to end inequities in the criminal justice system and bring about reform. Their dedication includes working with prisons to support families, reduce recidivism and assist former inmates in their return to a constructive community life.
Even during re-building following a fire, Allen Temple’s homeless assistance program continues to operate. Homeless individuals have access to clothing and other essentials for everyday life and more importantly, receive support for self-stabilization efforts. These services include job interview preparation, training programs and housing application assistance. Allen Temple also partners with the Oregon Foodbank to provide meals to struggling community members.
Pastors Bethel and Haynes also actively support efforts to address health care inequities by providing HIV/AIDS education, outreach and support. In particular, Pastor Bethel has advocated for a healthier community by supporting environmental protection and strengthening public investment in urban parks for everyone.
The Lowenstein Trust is part of the legacy of Steve Lowenstein and his inspiring model of public service. In his will, Steve provided for an annual financial award for those individuals who make enduring contributions to help the underprivileged in the City of Portland. Steve’s sense of purpose, integrity and perseverance was a model for many working on human rights and social justice. A life-long civil rights advocate, Steve served in the Peace Corps after law school in the early 1960’s, was a founding director of Oregon Legal Services and authored The Jews of Oregon – 1850-1950, a groundbreaking history. At the time of his death in 1990, Steve had served for six years as Chief of Staff to former Portland City Commissioner Mike Lindberg.