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Sunday, August 19, 2018
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Panelist Bio


Raymond A. Jetson
CEO, Louisiana Family Recovery Corps

Raymond A. Jetson is the chief executive officer for the Louisiana Family Recovery Corps. As CEO, Mr. Jetson leads the coordination of local, state and national efforts to connect disaster-impacted individuals and families with the resources they need to recover and resume their lives.

During Mr. Jetson's tenure, which began in April 2006, the Recovery Corps has served more than 19,000 households impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Under Mr. Jetson's leadership, the organization also launched the NOLA Bound call center, which helps displaced New Orleans residents with navigating the myriad of services available to them after the storms, and rolled out the Recovery Corps' Louisiana Bound program, which enables residents to access needed information and resources to return from out of state to communities in Louisiana.

Prior to joining the Recovery Corps, Mr. Jetson served as deputy secretary for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, where he oversaw the operations of the agency's major offices, including the Offices for Addictive Disorders; Aging and Adult Services; Citizens with Developmental Disabilities; Mental Health; and Public Health; and the Bureau of Internal Audit. Before serving as deputy secretary, he served as the assistant secretary for the Department's Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities. As the chief executive for that office, he was primarily responsible for policymaking, planning, and budgeting for developmental disability-related interests with the Department. From 1999 to 2001, as the chief advisor for special populations within the Office of the Secretary, Mr. Jetson coordinated and evaluated proposed policies on disability matters and facilitated departmental initiatives to address deficits in capacity and gaps in service delivery.

From 1984 to 1999, Mr. Jetson served as the state representative for the 61st District of the Louisiana House of Representatives. While in the Legislature, he served on the Health and Welfare, Appropriations, and Joint Budget Committees. He also designed and established the Baton Rouge Community College Office of Special Programs. As its director, he was responsible for the college's compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and academic accommodations for students.

Mr. Jetson received bachelors and masters degrees from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to his public service, he has served as pastor of Star Hill Baptist Church since 1994. Under his leadership, the congregation has completed a major construction project, more than tripled its membership, and had a greater impact on the Baton Rouge community.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

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     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

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     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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