The Early Link – Parent Advocacy, SB 236, and Changing the Way We Talk About Young Children

Join us Sundays at 4:30pm  for new episodes of The Early Link Podcast. Listen live at 99.1 FM in the heart of Portland – or online anywhere at PRP.fm.

On this episode of The Early Link Podcast, host Rafael Otto speaks with Andrew Yoshihara, who is a member of Black Child Development PDX and founder and executive director of Bustin’ Barriers, a nonprofit organization that serves kids with disabilities. He is also a parent advocate and has been involved with legislative advocacy in 2021.


Andrew begins by recounting how he got involved with Black Child Development PDX, and what influenced his decision to testify on behalf of Oregon Senate Bill 236. With the recent passing of the bill, he then notes his wishes for the future in regards to the suspension and expulsion that disproportionately affects black and brown children.

Next, Andrew discusses his role as founder and executive director of Bustin’ Barriers. Specifically what it means to him to act as a mentor to the kids in the program. Then he circles back to his advocacy work with Black Child Development PDX, and notes how he witnessed true “black excellence,” among his colleagues.

Ultimately, he believes that although there is still a lot of work to do on an institutional level, the passage of this bill will give these kids a real chance to be heard and understood.


Additional Resources:

Bustin’ Barriers


Black Child Development PDX



Rafael Otto, Director of Communications, Children’s Institute

~ Thanks to Children’s Institute, working to ensure that every child in Oregon has the best start in life

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