Wendy Carpenter and Mark Ragins

On Explosions and Blankets: A conversation between innovators.

Mark Ragins, Campus Psychiatrist in the California State College system, has been at the leading edge of promoting radical change in traditional mental health systems for more than thirty years. Wendy Carpenter is the Chief Executive Officer of Penny Lane Centers, one of the largest foster-care agencies in the Los Angeles area. Known for its quality supports since it’s inception decades ago, Wendy is now at the forefront of the organizations radical vision of creating what they call a “heart-centered” culture, which involves intentional use of gifts with both the employees and in the supports their organization offers. Both of them are Core Gift practitioners, and experienced with many forms of healing and transformation. Exploring below the surface, conversing back and forth about gifts, wounds, and how change and healing occur in us, their conversation asks us all to consider how gifts are the tape running in the background of our lives asking to be seen and given. Although their conversation at times focuses on the younger people they are engaged with, both of them are quick to say that the primary youth issues they are focused on—finding direction, staying safe, finding loving relationships— are as relevant to their own growth as they are to the young people they are helping.