54 episodes

The Early Link Podcast, brought to you by Children's Institute based in Portland, Oregon, highlights national, regional, and local voices working in early childhood education and the nonprofit sector. Written, hosted, and produced by Rafael Otto.

The Early Link Podcast Children's Institute

    • Education
    • 4.2, 5 Ratings

The Early Link Podcast, brought to you by Children's Institute based in Portland, Oregon, highlights national, regional, and local voices working in early childhood education and the nonprofit sector. Written, hosted, and produced by Rafael Otto.

    Black Lives Matter Organizer La Mikia Castillo on Systemic Change and Dismantling Racism

    Black Lives Matter Organizer La Mikia Castillo on Systemic Change and Dismantling Racism

    In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto talks with La Mikia Castillo, a Black Lives Mater activist and community organizer, about what it looks like to dismantle systemic racism.

    Guest

    La Mikia Castillo is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant, and an organizer with Black Lives Matter, Los Angeles.

    Summary

    La Mikia clarifies the message around defunding the police and shares how we can start to reimagine a new idea of safety. She also explains the ways in which systemic racism has impacted the health and education of black children and children of color and what it will take to see real change in these institutions. Finally, La Mikia shares her idea of what a world free of racism would look like for her and her son.

    Resources:

    Children’s Institute has Racial Equity Resources for Early Childhood as a hub for resources and guidance on racial justice and equity issues that connect to early childhood. It is not comprehensive but will be updated regularly.

    • 33 min
    Reforming Oregon's Child Welfare System with Jax Richards

    Reforming Oregon's Child Welfare System with Jax Richards

    In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto talks with Jax Richards, the president and founder of Safeguard Youth, about Oregon’s child welfare system.

    Guest

    Jax Richards is an economics and social public policy student at Oregon State University. In 2019 he started Safeguard Youth with the mission to provide a platform for foster youth and survivors of child abuse to advocate for a higher quality child welfare system.

    Background

    In April, A Better Childhood, a national advocacy group, and Disability Rights Oregon filed a lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Human Services, alleging the agency revictimizes children in its foster care system and has failed to address documented problems for at least a decade.

    The lawsuit paints a picture of a system that, through its dysfunction, further traumatizes children who were taken from their families on the premise that the state would better care for them. There are 10 plaintiffs with stories ranging from being forced to stay in refurbished jail cells, to being drugged to gain compliance without consent.

    Since 2006, the state has paid $39 million in legal settlements over allegations of abuse and neglect.

    • 27 min
    National Teacher of the Year Tabatha Rosproy

    National Teacher of the Year Tabatha Rosproy

    In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto speaks with Tabatha Rosproy, the first early childhood educator to be named National Teacher of the Year.

    Tabatha Rosproy, a 10-year veteran Kansas teacher, is the first early childhood educator to be named National Teacher of the Year. She teaches preschool for Winfield Early Learning Center (WELC) in Winfield, Kansas. Housed in Cumbernauld Village, a local retirement community and nursing home, her inclusive classroom is an inter-generational program that provides preschoolers and residents with multiple daily interactions and serves special education and typically developing preschoolers in a full-day setting. She also served as a co-chair of the educator task force that helped compile Kansas’s continuous learning guidance for how to approach distance learning during COVID-19.

    Tabatha shares her experience with engaging families in student learning and highlights the necessity of a partnership between teachers and caregivers for student success. She also talks about the importance of keeping students connected to one another during distance learning. As Tabatha looks towards the next year, she discusses her plans to use her new platform to advocate for early learning educators across the country.

    • 25 min
    Distance Learning for Preschool with Janice Lewis

    Distance Learning for Preschool with Janice Lewis

    In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto talks with veteran teacher Janice Lewis about what it means to provide remote learning to preschoolers.

    Guest:

    Janice Lewis is a preschool teacher at Vose Elementary in the Beaverton School District.

    Background:

    Distance Learning for All, a campaign from the Oregon Department of Education, officially launched across public schools in Oregon in mid April. The goal is to keep public education students learning their material for the school year while they are at home. This means teachers are finding new, creative ways to engage their students remotely.

    Inquiry-based learning is an approach to learning that emphasizes the student’s role in the learning process. Rather than the teacher telling students what they need to know, students are encouraged to explore the material, ask questions, and share ideas.

    • 27 min
    Culturally Specific COVID-19 Liaisons: Regina Ingabire and Virginia Luka

    Culturally Specific COVID-19 Liaisons: Regina Ingabire and Virginia Luka

    In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto talks with Regina Ingabire and Virginia Luka about their role as culturally specific COVID-19 liaisons.

    Guests:

    Regina Ingabire is a Community Outreach Manager at the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM). She leads public engagement initiatives focusing on disaster risk awareness, community resilience, and household preparedness in historically underserved communities.

    Virginia Luka is a Program Specialist for the Pacific Islander Community at the Multnomah County Health Department. Her research experience includes Pacific Islander culture and history, with a focus on Micronesia.

    Summary:

    Regina Ingabire and Virginia Luka share what it means to be a culturally specific COVID-19 liaisons and the importance of considering culturally specific needs during this time. They also discuss why accurate demographic data collection matters, and how they are focusing on building community resilience.

    Resources:

    Look to the Multnomah Country Website for a daily situational report, webinars, and access to resources in different languages.

    • 27 min
    Native Wellness in the Time of COVID-19

    Native Wellness in the Time of COVID-19

    In this week’s episode, host Rafael Otto delves into the importance of focusing on Native American wellness and the impact of COVID-19 on Native communities.

    Guests:

    Jillene Joseph is the Executive Director for the Native Wellness Institute and a partner with the Future Generations Collaborative.

    Suzie Kuerschner is also a partner with the Future Generations Collaborative and serves as the Education Mode Coordinator.

    Background:

    The Future Generations Collaborative was formed by the Multnomah County Health Department and other community partners in 2011 to promote healthy pregnancies and cultural healing in the Native community, and to create a positive relationship between a government agency and the Native community.

    The Native Wellness Institute is a nonprofit that exists because of the lasting effects of intergenerational trauma and how that contributes to the contemporary trauma that exists in Native American communities today. The institute focuses on providing opportunities for healing, growth, and development.

    Resources:

    In the midst of this pandemic, the Native Wellness Institute is providing a daily program called Native Wellness Power Hour on Facebook Live. Everyday at noon pacific time there is an hour long workshop consisting of storytelling, activities, concerts etc. These workshops can also be found on the Native Wellness Institute’s YouTube page.

    • 26 min

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