Humanitarian Award Winner 2016 – Israel Bayer and Street Roots

…Street Roots is the conscience of the community and extraordinarily effective in its advocacy efforts for the poor and homeless. This paper is truly a community treasure.” – Bobby Weinstock, Northwest Pilot Project

Congratulations, Israel Bayer and Street Roots!

Street Roots is far more than an exercise in journalism. It creates income opportunities for people experiencing homelessness and poverty by producing a newspaper and other media that are catalysts for individual and social change. Israel Bayer and the staff at Street Roots accomplish this and so much more every day that they are in our community, and the Willamette Writers board felt they truly deserved the Humanitarian Award this year.

Please join us at the Awards Banquet at the Willamette Writers Conference in August this year as we celebrate the Executive Director of Street Roots Israel Bayer, Managing Editor Joanne Zuhl, and staff reporter Emily Green.

From the Street Roots bios:

Israel Bayer, Executive Director at Street Roots, has been working in the street newspaper movement for more than a decade. He has worked for Real Change, a street newspaper in Seattle, Washington and for the North American Street Newspaper Association. Israel is also a journalist, poet, photographer and painter.

Joanne Zuhl, the Managing Editor, joined Street Roots in 2003 as a volunteer editor and today is the managing editor of the organization. A professional journalist since 1993, Joanne’s career has spanned civic affairs, business news, and providing state and national commentary for editorials. She was the editorial page editor at The Post-Crescent, a 55,000 daily circulation newspaper in Wisconsin, before deciding to leave corporate journalism and pursue nonprofit work in Portland, Oregon.

Emily Green, staff reporter, joined Street Roots as a volunteer and freelance writer in February of 2014. She was hired as Street Roots’ first full-time reporter 10 months later. Emily received a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a focus on news/editorial from the University of Oregon where she worked as a reporter for Oregon Daily Emerald. Locally, her articles have appeared in Willamette Week and Portland Tribune.


The Humanitarian Award (est. 1996) honors a person and/or organization in the writing or publishing fields who have demonstrated exceptional philanthropy in their work.

The winners of the Annual Awards are chosen by the Willamette Writers Board each spring. The 2016 award winners will be honored during an Awards Event at the Willamette Writers Conference on August 13th, 2016. For more information, and to purchase tickets, contact wilwrite[at]willamettewriters[dot]org or (503) 305-6729.

Jenny Schrader

Jenny Schrader

Jenny is the President of Willamette Writers. She presides over all board meetings and the annual member meeting, serves as the primary Willamette Writers spokesperson, and plays a vital role in the day-to-day operations of the organization. Jenny writes Young Adult novels, operates her urban mini-farm, has a passion for knitting, and works for a renown glass artist. She can be contacted at prez@willamettewriters.org, and loves to connect with members about any ol' thing, especially over coffee. Nix that. Especially over beer and tater tots.