PLC receives $800,000 Lilly Endowment grant


December 10, 2015

Contact: Tiffany Tibbot
Director of Operations
Phone: 765.977.9626                               

Indianapolis-based Peace Learning Center receives $800,000 Lilly Endowment grant

Two-year grant will support strategic goals including restorative practices, expanding school programs for parents and teachers and increasing service opportunities for students

 INDIANAPOLIS, IN– Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded Peace Learning Center an $800,000 grant to support its efforts to educate students, teachers, and parents in conflict resolution and social emotional learning skills. PLC’s education programs are designed to improve academic outcomes while reducing school discipline problems. The grant will also support a major partnership with ACT OUT – an interactive theater troupe directed by Claude McNeal Productions – and create more program partnerships with underserved area schools.

Peace Learning Center’s approach incorporates communication skills, bullying prevention, diversity appreciation and conflict resolution techniques for students, teachers and as many family members as possible. The goal of Peace Learning Center and Act Out’s program partnership is to improve academic performance and build character through relationship and conflict management education.

“Lilly Endowment’s support will enable us to expand proven programs that help youth build conflict resolution and critical thinking skills and deepen their commitment to education,” said Tim Nation, co-founder and executive director of Peace Learning Center.

During the next two years, Peace Learning Center will create partnerships with schools that serve students who live in six neighborhoods that are high-priority areas due to high levels of crime and other factors.

These schools, referred to as One Indy Schools, receive Peace Learning Center programming for students in PreK through first grade. Students in fifth and sixth grade will be given the opportunity to serve as peer mediators for handling peer-to-peer conflict. Teachers and families from each One Indy School will participate in workshops tailored to improve positive connections between the school and community.

Peace Learning Center is an Indianapolis-based non-profit that has impacted the lives of more than 195,000 people locally and internationally since it first began in 1997.  Its mission is to educate, inspire and empower people to live peacefully.  Its programs are now in operation in eight cities nationally and five countries worldwide.  Every year, nearly 10,000 youth and adults participate in Peace Learning Center programs.

As a community educational institution, Peace Learning Center promotes healthy learning, workplace and community environments by establishing safe and common ways to address differences and teaches processes to help build community and healthy communication for youth, parents, adults, and professionals. To learn more, visit

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly Family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company.  It supports the causes of religion, education and community development. The Endowment affords special emphasis to projects that benefit young people and promote leadership education and financial self-sufficiency in the nonprofit, charitable sector.



Why Peace Matters Letters


Last month, we asked 7th grade students from Vision Academy on Riverside Drive in Indianapolis to write letters about why they feel peace is important. Here are a few of the letters they wrote:

Student Letter 1

Student Letter 2

Student Letter 3

Student Letter 4

Volunteer Appreciation Week


PLC at  Fever Game

Volunteer Week of Appreciation: December 7-11

Peace Learning Center would like to take a moment to thank you for all you do! Our organization would not be what it is today without your generous help and support. To show our gratitude we would like to invite you to enjoy a week of festivities in your honor!

Monday, Dec. 7: Relaxation and Rejuvenation, 6:30-8 pm at Unitarian Universalist Church of Indy
Peace Learning Center volunteers are invited to join us for a night of relaxation and rejuvenation. Treat yourself to a guided mediation and learn about other calming techniques to reduce stress. This is an open house style event, you are welcome to come and go as you please!

Registration is required to attend. Click here to register.

Tuesday, Dec. 8: Newsletter-Special Edition
Watch your emails that day for a special shout-out from us, to you! A newsletter will go to all of our supporters highlighting the incredible things you have helped us to accomplish this year! Sit back, kick your feet up, and read about just how awesome you are!

Wednesday, Dec. 9: Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, 5:30-8 pm at Peace Learning Center
Join us for a delicious meal at Peace Learning Center! Each volunteer is welcome to bring one guest. Dinner will start at 6pm. However, park gates will lock at 6 pm, so please plan on arriving between 5:30-5:50 to ensure you can enter the park. A PLC staff person will escort you out of the park at the end of the event.

Registration is required to attend; registration will close on Dec 8th. Click here to register.

Thursday, Dec. 10: Shirt Pickup, 9 am-5 pm at Peace Learning Center
Ever wished you had some sweet PLC swag? Well now’s your chance. Head over to Peace Learning Center on Thursday between 9 am-5 pm to pick-up your new Peace Learning Center Volunteer shirt. Contact Jay Horan at to request a park pass to enter the park without having to pay the entrance fee.

Friday, Dec. 11: Q&A with the Executive Director and Eagle Creek Tour, 2-4 pm at Peace Learning Center
End your work week with a beautiful tour of Eagle Creek Park on our Peace Learning Center Peace Bus. Our Executive Director, Tim Nation, will narrate your trip and share a wealth of knowledge about the history of Eagle Creek Park. Afterwards, you are welcome to explore the park or join us for a question and answer session with our executive director and learn all that you’ve ever wanted to know about Peace Learning Center!

Registration is required and seating is limited. Click here to register.




#GivingTuesday #PeacePals #UNSelfie

Get your #PeacePals to join you for #GivingTuesday to support Peace Learning Center!

You’ve probably heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but have you heard of the BEST Thanksgiving spending tradition…#GivingTuesday?  It’s a global movement that unites the world for good.

Every dollar donated through our #GivingTuesday campaign helps us bring more life-changing peace education to children, youth, and families in Greater Indianapolis. Share your best #UNSelfie with your #PeacePals and encourage others to give while having some fun!

With your help, we’ll be able to raise $5,000 between Dec. 1 – Dec. 7 which means we can provide comprehensive peace education for 25 more children next year. 

How can you help?

  1. Click here to donate today – Anything you can give matters!
  2. Create your own fundraising goal and campaign by clicking here.
  3. Then, spread the word on social media, through email, or at the office to ask your #PeacePals to join you in making a difference this holiday season.

Here are a few messages you can use to spread the word:

  • Join me and my #PeacePals by donating to my #GivingTuesday campaign to support Peace Learning Center!
  • Take your own #UnSelfie today with your #PeacePals after you donate to my #GivingTuesday campaign to support more peace in Indy!
  • #PeacePals make the world a better place! @Peacelearning #UnSelfie #GivingTuesday

Thank you for being a person who values peace and diversity. At times like these, our world can definitely use more people like you!

Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Grant



Indianapolis, IN – November 19, 2015 – Peace Learning Center has received a grant totaling $125,000 over two years from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust to support its One Indy initiative at Indianapolis elementary schools serving students who live in high crime neighborhoods.

One Indy is designed in partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to serve students, parents, and teachers at schools in six focus neighborhoods. These neighborhoods were identified by the Public Safety Dept. as areas in Indianapolis with the highest incidents of crime, code violations and city interventions.

Children who live in Indy’s six focus neighborhoods are six times more likely to be victims of crime than children who live in any other neighborhood in our city. Studies show the resulting psychological stresses caused by this increased exposure to violence can lead to academic difficulties, disruptive behaviors, and lifelong challenges which perpetuate cycles of poverty and violence.

The three-year initiative will be implemented at four IPS schools this year: Schools 51 (Near Northside), 58 (Eastside), 39 (South Eastside), and 15 (Near Eastside). Peace Learning Center plans to expand the initiative to additional schools in the focus areas in following years based on the success of this year’s programs.

The biggest focus of the program will be on the youngest students, those in kindergarten and first grade, due to research which indicates prevention is better than intervention and, the earlier it happens, the more effective it is. Students, staff and families will participate in classroom training, assemblies, professional development and workshops, and older students will be selected for peer mediator teams.

“This is our city, these are our children. We’re calling this project One Indy because it means we care about each other and we are working together to create a better future for all children in our community,” said Tim Nation, Peace Learning Center’s executive director and co-founder.

The goals of the initiative are to reinforce schools as welcoming places; improve student behavior to increase academic performance; increase youth protective factors by teaching social-emotional learning skills such as self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, and maintaining healthy relationships; and enhance positive connections between teachers, parents, law enforcement, and the community.

During her career, Nina Mason Pulliam shared her financial success and business leadership skills with many charities. She was particularly sensitive to human needs, animal welfare and environmental issues. “She had a keen awareness of challenges that face our community and would take great pride in the outstanding work being done by organizations like Peace Learning Center,” said Carol Schilling, Trustee chairman. “Through her Trust, we continue to build on her legacy which clearly reflects her heart for philanthropy.”

The grant to Peace Learning Center represents one of 27 awarded to nonprofit organizations in Indiana by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust during the second of two grant cycles this year. Since the Trust began its grant making in 1998, it has awarded more than $252 million to nonprofit organizations in Indiana and Arizona.

As of September 30, 2015, the Trust had assets of approximately $364 million. Visit


Volunteer of the Month – Jane

Jane Westermeier is this month’s Volunteer of the Month.  Jane has been participating in our Peace Pages program by volunteering monthly in a local elementary to facilitate lessons focused on literacy and peace education.


Jay Horan, our volunteer and intern coordinator, has worked closely with Jane and said,  “Jane is compassionate and so dedicated!   She has taken her role in this program very seriously and I have heard wonderful things from the students and school that she is working with!”


Thank you Jane for everything you have done for our organization. We are very grateful to have you on our team!


We Cannot Change Others, We Can Change Ourselves

Vision Academy

We are grateful for these students from Vision Academy who recently gave their time to volunteer at Peace Learning Center because they believe peace matters

We Cannot Change Others, We Can Change Ourselves
These are tough times for peacemakers. Locally, nationally and internationally violence and intimidation face us daily. The recent atrocities committed in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad shocked and saddened all of us.
While we cannot change others, we can change ourselves. Working for peace within ourselves helps us spread peace to family, friends, coworkers and the larger community.
We are eternally grateful for your support because everyday Peace Learning Center’s facilitators and volunteers witness personal change with preschool through high school students, parents, teachers and community members as we help each person find the peace and peacemaker within.
When they are first exposed to PLC programs, many struggling teenagers believe they will not survive beyond 25 years of age, so they live with no hope for tomorrow. Tragically it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for way too many.
“My mother worked three jobs and my dad was in prison,” a 19 year-old young man told me at a meeting. “She wouldn’t let me go outside to play so I watched TV all the time seeing all the things other people had.  When I went outside at 14, I got a gun because I knew that was how I was going to get that stuff for me.” After spending time in prison, he now is gainfully employed and attributes his faith in turning his life around.
Our data in schools shows Peace Learning Center reduces disciplinary actions by over 70% and helps students raise grades from D’s to B’s. How? We find young people and adults must first face the facts that you are the only one responsible for what you say and do.  You cannot blame others for your words and actions. 
Once you take personal responsibility for your life rather than blaming others and cashing in on the entitlements of victimhood, you start developing hope for the future. Hope for the future leads to ownership over education and career planning.
Locally, we all must work to increase the opportunities for youth to gain jobs, intern and mentorships, tutors, and friends.  Indianapolis has wonderful school choices but our out-of-school programs are shrinking and neglected.  
Please help us extend peace education into our community by volunteering, giving and spreading the word about our work.  Together we can change things for the better. 
Thank you again for all of you who believe peace is possible and who do your part to support peace education.

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” 

This blog post was written by Tim Nation, Executive Director and Co-founder of Peace Learning Center.

Grateful for our October 2015 Donors!

Please help us thank some of our donors this past month who are helping make peace possible!
Business/Organization Donations:
  • Northview Church of the Brethren
  • Citizen’s Energy Group
  • Maurer Family Foundation, Inc. – Mickey’s Camp
  • Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust – $125,000 2 year grant for One Indy Initiative
  • Day of Service – MLK Festival volunteers
  • Teresa Baker, PLC Board Member
  • John and Janie Westermeier, Monthly Sustaining Donors
  • Jill Chappell
  • Michael Saahir
  • Mark and Orleanais Minch
  • A.G. and P.J. Vermission
  • Angela and Michael Atkins
If you’d like to join them in supporting peace education, please click here to donate now! 

2016 Power of Peace Award

Derrin Power of Peace

Derrin Slack – founder of ProAct Community Partnerships and 2015 Power of Peace award winner

Click here to nominate a local peacemaker for the 2016 Power of Peace Award!

Do you know someone who does extraordinary work to further peace and justice in your neighborhood, family, business or community? 

Nominate them today to win the Power of Peace Award – an annual award to recognize a local leader or group which has demonstrated peacemaking in action within the central Indiana community.

Past awardees include the Latino Youth Collective, Tarik Glenn, Rupert Boneham, Retired Air Force Brig. Gen.  J. Stewart Goodwin, and the Efroymson Family.

To submit your nominee, please click here to complete the short questionnaire and submit it no later than Tuesday, December 8, 2015.

The Power of Peace Award will be presented at Peace Learning Center’s 18th Annual Martin Luther King Community Festival #2016MLKIndy on Saturday, January 18 from 11am to 3pm at Christian Theological Seminary, 1000 West 42nd Street in Indianapolis.

For more information to visit the MLK Community Festival page.

Family “Rules”


Family “Rules” We Live By

Our house has a revolving door.  Our friends, neighbors and kids friends are always stopping by and sometimes stay for a day or two or….more.  I often wonder why these individuals like to “hang out” at our house. 

My ego says “WOW! We must be great parents and friends!” So I went on a quest and asked why our home is their “landing hub” and here’s the answers I received: Your house is so calm and peaceful. There’s no judgments made here. I feel like part of your family. It keeps me out of my parent’s “messes” and makes me feel calm. I love that you always do things together and I feel included.

This made me realize that the rules we try to live by in our home are working – although, admittedly, we aren’t always successful at following them ourselves. We’re not perfect, but we try and that has to count for something, right?

So, here are some of the family rules we live by, not in any specific order, that I’d like to share with you. We don’t have all the answers, I just know these work for us in our home.

GIVE: It doesn’t have to me money or material things. Give your time and share your talents.

WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK: We all have tasks that need to be done on a regular basis, so no point complaining about them. Just get them done and crossed off your “to do” list so you have time for fun with friends and family.

BE THANKFUL: We don’t have things we’d love to own and we have our daily struggles, but we are still thankful for each other and the things we do have. There is a saying taped to our fridge that reads, “When you complain about the bad things that have happened to you today, think about all the bad things that DIDN’T happen to you today.” When you truly think about that, you’ll realize how good your life really is. We are blessed.

FORGIVE: Easier said than done, but do it quickly and move on. Not worth the negative energy to hold a grudge. Besides, no one likes the awkwardness of it all.

CHEER AND SUPPORT: Lift up your children, spouse and friends by offering support and cheering them on. We all need a “way to go” now and then or a positive push when there’s doubt in what we’re doing.

LOVE: Seems simple right? We don’t express or show love enough. I’m guilty of it – are you? Tell your children, spouse and friends that you love them. Show them by doing little things that cost nothing but a few minutes time; put a note in a lunch box, secretly tape a love note to your spouses steering wheel, do one of their chores, make their favorite dessert, hug them and hug them, actually say the words “I LOVE YOU” and then hug them some more!

I hope you choose to follow at least one or two of our household rules. They don’t cost anything but a moment’s time. It’s these little things that make a house a home, and the world into a more loving, peaceful place to live for us and the future of our children.

Written by Lisa Jones, PLC’s director of human resources and operations.