A TED Talk Inspired Spiritual Talk Series WALK THE TALK: COMPASSION

Dec05

wtt-compassion-posterThe Vogue | Wednesday, December 14, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS – Walk the Talk: Compassion continues the innovative TED Talk inspired Spiritual Talk series, and will showcase six speakers discussing and sharing personal stories about compassion. The event will also feature live music, confetti, interactive activities and a Motivational Balloon drop, making it an over-the-top show unlike any other speaker series! Walk the Talk: Compassion will be held on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. (doors open at 7:15 p.m.) at The Vogue in Broad Ripple (6259 N. College Avenue).

Tickets are on sale now ($15, plus applicable fees) at the Vogue Box Office, TheVogue.com, and Ticketfly.com. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door on the day of the event.

The six speakers of Walk the Talk: Compassion will inspire, motivate and awaken the mind with messages of how compassion has affected their lives by answering the question: What does compassion mean to you? Speakers will include:

  • Jessica Froelich – Jessica Froelich is on a mission to make the world a more peaceful, loving place, and as a love warrior, has made a lifelong commitment to deepening her connection to the power of unconditional love. A storyteller at heart, she has always enjoyed performance arts and acting on stage and in film. Her authentic, open expression of emotions provides others with a raw, un-edited reminder of the beauty in our human nature, and through the lens of compassion, she will take listeners on a journey, opening their eyes to transformation.
  • Rory Colgan – As a writer who published his first book in 2007, Rory Colgan will share insightful metaphysical concepts applied to topics in self-help, meditation and philosophy. Rory is the founder of the educational platform Inner Health Today, which focuses on aiding others to become healthy, wealthy and influential in the realms of spiritual, mental and emotional development. He graduated from the School of Metaphysics with a Qui Docet Discit and is a certified Dream Coach, helping others to understand their dreams and the relation to each individual’s life.
  • Kunal Vyas – A Zionsville, Indiana native, Kunal Vyas is passionate about his family, connecting with the community and helping others reach their full potential. Growing up amongst a diverse religious community in rural poverty in India, he has become a humble man with compassion toward all humanity. Even as a father of three, a philosopher and a husband with a full-time job and small business, Kunal is dedicated to spending his life making the world a blissful place, serving many hours rebuilding the community, helping people in need and feeding thousands of those left homeless.
  • Kathy Slaughter – Lifelong student Kathy Slaughter currently pursues the craft of psychotherapy, where she specializes in human sexuality, relationships and trauma at her practice in Broad Ripple. Her passion for personal growth and self-development is matched only by her interest in teaching others through one-on-one interactions, workshops and events. Kathy thrives on compassioante conversations that lead others to new realizations about their own lives.
  • Tim Nation – Tim Nation is the cofounder and executive director of Peace Learning Center, an Indianapolis-based educational institution that teaches peace-building and communication skills, and has served 200,000 people since 1997. With a background in management and public relations, Tim previously served as the director of Indiana AmeriCorps, and is a member of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, Chair of the Indianapolis Race & Cultural Relations Leadership Network and was named a “Distinguished Hoosier” by Indiana Governor Frank O’Bannon.
  • Richard Brendan – Inspiring and passionate, Richard Brendan brings love to life through his speaking, coaching and producing. He hosts a weekly radio program on WICR and has been both a producer and narrator for several TV projects, namely for WFYI and PBS. As founder of JourneysFire International, he produces innovative programs and events using media, arts and education. Richard also takes numerous trips to Haiti, where he provides for the less fortunate by speaking and providing humanitarian aid to assist in the relief efforst for children and families.

Listeners should arrive open to new information and ready to experience the vision of Walk the Talk, with the expectation of receiving key “take-aways” that can be immediately integrated into their daily lives, improving the overall quality and awareness of each person’s life and those close to them.

For more information, please contact steve@walkthetalkseries.com or visit www.walkthetalkseries.com.

November – Volunteer of the Month

Nov21

The Public Defender’s Office is our Volunteer Group of the Month.  Public Defender members spent a full Friday working with youth from a local elementary school.   After being trained in peace education lessons the volunteers mentored students as they went through rotations.   The volunteers were welcoming and friendly.   It was clear that they cared about the  youth and were happy to be spending their time with them.  Many of the volunteers said they couldn’t wait to come back!
To the Public Defender’s Office, thank you for everything you have done for our organization. We are very grateful to have you on our team!

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Volunteer of the Month – October

Oct19

Angie’s List is our Volunteer Organization of the Month.  Angie’s List members spent a full Friday working with youth from a local elementary school.   After being trained in peace education lessons the volunteers mentored students as they went through rotations.   The volunteers were welcoming and friendly.   It was clear that they cared about the  youth and were happy to be spending their time with them.  Many of the volunteers said they couldn’t wait to come back!

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Angie’s List, thank you for everything you have done for our organization. We are very grateful to have you on our team!

Volunteer of the Month – September

Sep16

peace-mentorsOur “Peace Mentors” are our Volunteers of the Month.  Peace Mentors are committed to helping Peace Learning Center by receiving training to become facilitators for PLC field trips.   Jay Horan, our Director of Engagement has worked closely with the group and said,  “What a beautiful group of people!   They are kind and caring.  They believe in our mission and want nothing more than to have an impact on children.   We are so lucky to have them.” 
Peace Mentors, thank you for everything you have done for our organization. We are very grateful to have you on our team!

Interested in becoming a Peace Mentor?   Please email Jay Horan for more information at jhoran@peacelearningcenter.org.

Peace Learning Center and the Ivy Tech New Leaders Academy

Sep14

by John McShane, Community Programs Director

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PLC Community Programs recently started a new partnership with Ivy Tech Community College. We called the initiative, “The Ivy Tech New Leaders Academy.” This half-day learning experience combined the values of the Butler Way with the community leadership and peace building aspects of PLC. The goal of the project was to partner with Ivy Tech and other community leaders in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of a half day workshop/seminar for a select group of first or second-year students. The Ivy Tech New Leaders Academy provided learning, skill development, networking, and career planning opportunities for participants. Through help and support from PLC and Ivy Tech, the workshop was provided free of charge.

The target population for the workshop included Ivy Tech students from two particular groups. Each group has been identified as facing unique challenges in securing educational and career development opportunities. Workshop participants included:

  • Bowen Scholars: Students in a scholarship fund supporting African-Americans who attend or plan to attend Ivy Tech Community College. Participants must be a U.S. citizen, have completed at least 6 college-level credits at the time of application, and are residents of Marion County.
  • Nina Scholars Program: Students provided a scholarship award to assist with the student’s cost of attendance at Ivy Tech Community College. The Nina Scholars Program provides financial support toward the cost of attendance for up to four years at Ivy Tech including books, fees, and a small living allowance.

Formal and final program design was completed in collaboration with Ivy Tech program manager, Cheri Bush. Program objectives included:

  • Discuss and demonstrate strategies for creating your own values based leadership philosophy. Values discussed include passion, thankfulness, humility, servanthood, accountability, and unity.
  • Write and present to others you own values based personal mission statement.
  • Affirm and implement your own professional networking strategy (Who do you need to meet to help with your plan? What do you want to learn from them?)
  • Discuss and evaluate specific community challenges for new leaders (diversity, income, crime, etc.)

Learning about the students and their academic and career paths led us to reach out to a select group of Indianapolis leaders. Student interest in business, law enforcement, social justice, and philanthropy led us to:

  • Rick Hite, Executive Director, Indiana Civil Rights Commission, Former Chief, IMPD
  • Martha Hoover, Owner, President of Patachou Inc., Founder and President of The Patachou Foundation
  • Marianne Glick, Chairman, Eugene & Marilyn Glick Family Foundation

Speakers were asked to tell their own stories and discuss how their own value constructs had helped them along their own successful ways. Each was also encouraged to take questions from the audience.

My first exposure to the students was joyful. Several came in early while I was preparing the room and every one of them introduced themselves. Most asked if I needed a hand with anything. I had several helpers setting up the refreshment tables, passing out handouts, and happily greeting fellow students and alumni. Something about this group felt special; there was a buzz in the room, a positive vibe.

I facilitated an open conversation on the meanings of unity, passion, humility, servanthood, thankfulness, and accountability. I asked the participants to find clues of those values in what the guest speakers would be saying. After each guest presentation, students were asked to identify where the speakers had touched on or referred to the values posted around the room. In each case, students were able to see where speakers had referred to humility, passion, and all the other values. A sophisticated level of dialogue and questions followed. The students were truly engaged.

Rick Hite spoke passionately about our community and the challenges we face. “You can’t arrest your way out of a problem,” he shared. His key point was one of our shared responsibilities for social change. It’s not just the police responsible for crime. It is, he said, “mothers and fathers, pastors and neighbors, teachers and bank tellers. It’s all of us.” He asked each student what was most important to us in our lives and students gave responses like faith, family, friends, justice, etc. He then asked us all what it would feel like to have any one or more of those things taken away from us. Rick then explained that this is how some of our fellow citizens feel – like they have no control over things they love being taken away from them, a sense of social helplessness.  Empathy emerged.

Martha Hoover talked about being a young lawyer and following her passion into a new career. She discussed the struggles as a young woman in a predominantly male business environment and how her own values drove her success. She then told the story of how, after extraordinary business success, she created the Patachou Foundation, a non-profit organization providing healthy meals to hundreds of Indianapolis children each week. She talked about unity, passion, and servanthood. She demands accountability in her staffs. She answered questions afterward and offered to have lunch with interested culinary career minded students at one of her restaurants.

Marianne Glick put the students to work! In a card sort exercise, the students had to organize their top three personal values. She then walked them through a process in which they created a mission and vision statement based on those values. A mission statement, Marianne told us, “should be no longer than a single sentence, is easily understood by a 12-year-old, and can be recited by memory at any time.” Each student created and shared their own value statements with their peers.

The workshop ended with a short summary of what we had learned. I shared the story and a quote from Robert Kennedy’s April 4, 1968, Indianapolis speech. This was the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. It is one of my favorites. Rick had alluded to the speech and its importance earlier in the day. It closes:

“Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.”

The participants inspired me and continue to do so. They have overcome many challenges and are working hard to move forward in their academic work towards their future endeavors. I wanted to create something that might help them along in their journeys. I wanted to make a difference in some way. Turns out, we made a difference together!

The work continues. As a result of the success of the New Leaders Academy. PLC has contracted to continue working with the Bowen and Nina scholars. We will be facilitating hour long leadership development mini-workshops monthly throughout the 2016/2017 school year. We have already started planning for our schedule through the 2017/2018 school year! The participants are already helping to create goals and objectives for their future work. They are owning their own learning!

We all owe a huge debt of thanks to Marianne Glick, Martha Hoover, and Rich Hite. Their passion and care for our community were both inspiring and contagious. The students are talking about you still! And lastly, a big thanks to Cheri Bush. She has become a mentor, a colleague, and a friend as we have worked together. The Bowen and Nina scholars are in kind and caring hands.

PLC can create a custom leadership experience for you and your community or organization. Just give me a call at 317-327-7144 or e-mail me at jmcshane@peacelearningcenter.org. We can collaborate to create something fun and meaningful for your team. I am looking forward to it! The work continues.

Volunteer of the Month – August

Aug14
ari-cruzAri Cruz is this month’s Volunteer of the Month. Ari spent the summer as our Communications & Marketing Intern. She created our annual review, a new brochure and was incredibly helpful when it came to events. Tiffany Tibbot, Director of Operations worked closely with Ari and said, “Ari dove right into every project we gave her and went above and beyond. She was a self-starter who needed little guidance and got things done!”
Volunteer Opportunities
As always, PLC volunteers are busy making a difference every day! Thanks to all of you who have helped support our mission to educate, inspire and empower people to build peaceful communities this past month.
To learn about other volunteer opportunities, contact Jay Horan or visit our website to complete an online volunteer application.

Social Justice Leadership Camp 2016

Aug08

SJLC LogoReflections by Clare Wildhack-Nolan (Director)

This year was an amazing year in the practice of Social Justice Leadership Camp. It was our fourth year of building: curriculum building, leadership building, community building, momentum building. It was all that! The Social Justice Leadership Camp has proven we are successful in achieving our mission of developing confident and knowledgeable leaders who analyze power systems in order to build a more equitable society.Our two-week day camp develops critical thinking, encourages personal reflection, leadership development, civic engagement, and creative problem solving; essentially, community organizing skills.

Our two-week day camp develops critical thinking, encourages personal reflection, leadership development, civic engagement, and creative problem solving; essentially, community organizing skills.  Camp covers the themes of: personal identity, power analysis, social justice and leadership, media analysis, economic justice, justice within gender and sexuality, racial justice, justice and disability rights, art and expression, and event and action planning.

This year the impact camp has had in our leaders’ lives, over the past four years, became evident. We are seeing campers who own their leadership, with a clearer understanding of how institutional power works. It is inspiring to see them work!

Paije, who was in our first group of campers ever, stayed involved in our camp meet-ups and returned this year to participate in a second round of camp. Her ability to identify injustice and articulate the sources in institutional power that affect her life is a concrete product of her involvement in camp, she says. She uses her understanding in any atmosphere she is in: school, work, home, while watching TV, with friends.  As her awareness and confidence has grown she has taken a leadership role in her school community, especially the Youth in Action Group she leads. The year before last they went to Washington D.C. to be honored for their work. After this year’s camp she plans to go back to her school and build more awareness about the challenges that immigrants face in the USA, as well as spread understanding of the multi-cultural and racial identities of the Latino community.

Ariana’s participation in Camp as a counselor is evidence that Camp is integrating youth in the power base of our practice. Ariana was a camper last year. After finishing her senior year at Herron High School, she joined us for camp before heading off to her first year at IU Bloomington. While at IU Bloomington she has gotten involved in a Filipino cultural organization and has continued her research around ableism and disability rights. During camp she expanded our curriculum to include an eye-opening piece on ableism, identifying personal to institutional impacts and a historical perspective on the framing of our concepts of normal. She brought a clear youth voice to camp leadership, and acted as a great role model to what is possible. She plans to head back to IU with her expanded facilitation skills, primed to push her cultural organization into deeper conversations regarding the impact of racism and interconnections between people of color and will continue her work for disability rights.

All of the campers make camp the positive and powerful space it is. This year we had 3 past campers, who although not enrolled in camp this year, came to support on specific days, sharing in our community and speaking to ways that new campers can stay involved. Calvin joined us on the community tour. He has taken time to use his poetry and art to speak on panels about the school to prison pipeline and host community building events with his family. Eboni joined us for the Social Justice Leadership Panel Discussion, the Community Tour, and our Final Event and Celebration. She is a sophomore in Ivy Tech’s Culinary Arts program. She attended and co-facilitated meet-ups throughout the 2015-16 school year, including a community discussion on Mass Incarceration, and she was a panelist in a dialogue on the future of I-Step.

Likewise, we see past campers jumping on opportunities that we are developing through partnerships. Three past campers were selected by the Desmond Tutu Center to be Youth Fellows and attended a social justice trip to South Africa this summer. They will then be returning to the city to complete a social justice community initiative. Additionally, SJL Camp co-founder/ facilitator Mat Davis has connected us with the directors of a Social Justice Scholars program at IUPUI, which offers full scholarships to accepted participants.  We plan on informing all of our participants of the opportunity!

Although camp is a quick two week program full of intimate discussion and self reflection, without any ”direct action” we see that our campers embrace the commitment and critical thinking it takes to live a life of social justice. They understand why and how, they want to approach whatever they do.

Our next step is to expand our school year offerings to support students in completing a solid and thoughtful social justice initiative in their school community. We would like to offer specific workshops around the needed organizing skills, a trip to Chicago to visit youth organizations, and to provide small stipends to help teens prioritize the important work they are doing, when many of them need an income. Additionally, we would  like to extend our reach to other teens who have grabbed on to specific causes to do their Social Justice work. We will do this by partnering with other youth social justice organizations to collaborate on a youth community organizing and power building summit. We have already been building partnerships with interested groups such as Earth Charter Indiana, IYG, American Friends Service Committee, shehive, Just Education Coalition, Felege Hiywot Center, and Planned Parenthood.

There is a beautiful genuine feeling of possibility and motivation at the end of camp. It is what we are together. Multiple campers sighted that they learned they need a community of people who understand them and challenge them to do the work they want to do. Annaleigh and Priscilla, from opposites sides of town, both came to camp looking for a home of open-minded people who want to learn and open their eyes to the diversity of experiences in this city. They often feel isolated in their usual school environments, alone and unsure of how to raise their perspectives and needs with the adults in power or their peers. At camp they found that they are not alone. Now, with confidence, they can build their power and voice. The whole camp family believes in them! As they move forward it is camp’s responsibility and joy to keep being that community!

Camp 2016

Volunteer of the Month – July

Jul26

Austin

Peace Learning Center would like to recognize Austin Elliot, Breea Vest, and LLeaheah Trimpe as the volunteers of the month! These wonderful students joined us as summer interns and have been a tremendous addition to our program.

Our Youth Development Facilitators worked closely with them and said, “This summer has been amazing with our new interns. They jumped in with enthusiasm. They shared their unique personalities and styles with Breeathe PLC staff and all the summer groups. They were always positive, willing to help and we could always depend on them to step up. They showed great commitment to peace and youth. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.”

Thank you for everything you have done for our organization. We are very lucky to have you on our team! Interested in completing an internship with us? Contact jhoran@peacelearningcenter.org 

 

Statement on the Recent Violent Events in our Nation & World

Jul15

This statement comes from Peace Learning Center’s Board Chair and Executive Director.

We the Peace Learning Center would like to extend our deepest sympathies to all of the families and communities affected directly and indirectly by the recent traumatic events. Our country is enraged and hurting over the injustices, racial tension, police brutality and insensitivity we have all been bombarded through countless media outlets. No place is sheltered from these events.

Social alertness and social identities are directly connected with the level of identity one has with a particular social group. These identities influence how we engage in, connect to and process different spaces and environments. Events (especially violent ones) involving a particular social group will have a greater impact if your social identity is higher with that particular group than people within other groups; it is natural to feel these events directly impact you.

Conversations about these issues will not be easy. In fact, conversations and dialogues will be challenging and uncomfortable. However, we must not be insensitive or ignorant in our communications, comments or questions surrounding these traumatic events. We must remember we are one society, one nation with many spaces filled with different people with a common thread; love.

Love involves promoting open safe dialogues where all questions and feelings are valid.  Peace Learning Center has always been concerned with neighborhood and family violence and committed to promoting peace building and conflict resolution among all communities and groups in Indiana. Our mission is to educate, inspire, and empower people to live peacefully by building communities of peace where respect is primary and justice is real. Adhering to our mission, we adamantly believe peaceful protests and safe dialogues are a must.

Peaceful and proactive efforts should be the focus of our entire community moving forward. To prevent further tragedies efforts should be focused on helping our elected officials create legislative efforts that improve and promote social justice. Conflict mediation and resolution training should be a part of the curriculum at all of our K-12 institutions and youth serving organizations as the key to a more united less violent society starts with our youth. For an example, we must consider new paradigms to address our current problems with violence.

Restorative justice replaces our emphasis on punishment for bad behavior with a system for dialogue and action that helps people learn new ways to deal with problems that now result in school suspensions, expulsions and even jail time. Instead of asking a youth, “What’s wrong with you?” we should ask, “What happened to you?” Imagine when faced with misbehavior, you see the teachable moment to help that youth. When a student does not know math, we teach them math. If that student does not know how to behave, we punish them.

Restorative justice replaces our emphasis on punishment for bad behavior with a system of dialogue and action that helps people learn new ways to deal with problems that currently result in school suspensions, expulsions and even jail time.

But this cannot just start at school – it must start at home, in our own communities…with each other.  We must learn to manage our anger, solve problems using non-violent strategies and communication, and learn to develop an appreciation for differing opinions and perspectives. Peace Learning Center helps schools, communities, nonprofits, businesses, juvenile correction facilities, faith based groups and others from all spaces of our society obtain peace, justice and understanding by modelling the behaviors; using community collaboration to address social issues; and providing services in conflict resolution, diversity inclusion and cultural competency training. Everyone can be a peacemaker!

Thank You from Social Justice Leadership Camp

Jun30

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Peace Learning Center and the youth of 2016’s Social Justice Leadership Camp would like to thank the following organizations and individuals for their donations to help provide food for the two week camp. We appreciate your support of social justice education, advocacy and awareness for youth of Indianapolis. If you would like to join in helping support through a meal or donation of money please contact Clare Wildhack-Nolan.

Business Donations:

  • Good Earth 
  • Meijer (56th St.)
  • Fresh Market (54th and College)
  • Kroger (Broad Ripple)

Individuals:

  • Natalie Spriggs
  • Demetrees Hutchins

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