Founder and CEO of Youth Villages in his office in Memphis, Tennessee. The private nonprofit contracts with the state to provide counseling and other services families and children and youth who might otherwise end up in foster care or a residential facility.

Founder and CEO of Youth Villages in his office in Memphis, Tennessee. The private nonprofit contracts with the state to provide counseling and other services families and children and youth who might otherwise end up in foster care or a residential facility.

Allison Frost/OPB

  • Fifty years ago, Portland State University became the first college in the Pacific Northwest to offer a program in black studies. We talk to department chair Shirley Jackson, and to former civil rights lawyer Charlotte Rutherford, about why the department remains important.
  • A program called Youth Villages started in Tennessee more than 30 years ago. In that time, it has helped that state both improve the lives of foster kids and save the state money on the child welfare system. Its key features include providing services to kids and their biological families at home, supporting foster kids who age out of the system, and relentless data tracking to make sure the programs work as designed. Youth Villages has a small but important and growing presence in Oregon. We sit down with its founder and CEO, Patrick Lawler.

Contact "Think Out Loud"

If you’d like to comment on any of the topics in this show, or suggest a topic of your own, please get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter, send an email to thinkoutloud@opb.org, or you can leave a voicemail for us at 503-293-1983. The call-in phone number during the noon hour is 888-665-5865.