Black Portland Couple Receive 2021 Lowenstein Award

Supporters of children are receiving an award for their work. Allen and Joy Fowler were recommended for the 2021 Steve Lowenstein Award on behalf of their volunteer advocacy efforts for families with medically fragile children. The 30th annual Lowenstein award will be presented to the couple on Dec. 15 at the Portland City Council meeting.

The Lowenstein Trust is part of the legacy of Steve Lowenstein, who was a model of public service. Steve’s sense of purpose, integrity, and perseverance inspired many who have worked on issues of human rights and social justice. Throughout his life he was a vocal civil rights activist. Steve was founding director of Oregon Legal Services, author of a groundbreaking history – The Jews of Oregon 1850-1950 – and at the time of his death in 1990, had served for six years as chief of staff to former Portland City Commissioner Mike Lindberg. In his will, Steve established an annual financial award to provide recognition and assistance to individuals who have made significant ongoing personal sacrifice to help those in need.

The Fowler’s son, Amir, a child with special needs, died in 2012. As special needs parents, the Fowlers encountered many difficult and often insurmountable challenges. After Amir’s tragic death, the Fowler’s created the charitable “A MIRacle” Foundation to help medically and cognitively challenged children and their families, connecting them with the information, resources and support. Over 2,000 families have seen The foundation’s programs and services in which have helped ease the financial and emotional burdens and improve the quality of life for their special needs children.

In Oregon, A MIRacle foundation works throughout Oregon to provide park spaces and adaptive play equipment designed specifically for children with special needs. The foundation makes it possible for wheelchairs, hospital beds and other medically necessary adaptive equipment to be donated and provided to families in need, filling a gap when insurance coverage is not available

The Fowlers have created connections and collaborations among a multitude of healthcare, educational and community organizations and businesses, providing tangible support, relief and gratitude among family members and especially the children.