One Indy Family Programs


And 7 Things You Should Always Say to Family

Today, right now – all families face challenges that can and do put terrific strains on establishing and maintaining harmony and peace.

That is why we decided to offer PLC multi-family workshops throughout the year at each of our One Indy partner schools. Through all PLC family workshops, we help families understand how to grow and nurture the love that binds them.

These interactive, non-threatening, and non-judgmental workshops start by focusing on the positive qualities in each family and highlight the unique gifts each family member adds to their small community. The goal is to help families understand they are working to make what is good even better.

Then, the workshops continue the process of creating stronger families by gently peeling back the layers of – sometimes unnoticed – reasons for the breakdown in communication. Everyone is held accountable.

Click here to download a list of Family Workshops that will be offered to families of students at each of our One Indy schools. This year’s One Indy schools are IPS #15, #39, #51, and #58.

As you can tell, we believe most families already have everything they need to make their family even stronger. Our workshops are designed to help them rediscover what it is they love about each other. If you’d like to try this in your own family, you might want to start with this…

Seven Things You Should Always Say to Family:
1. I love you.
2. Thank you.
3. I could use your help.
4. I love to watch you play. (or do whatever you love to do)
5. I was wrong
6. I’ve never told you that…(give compliment)
7. You made my day!

Click here to read the Huffington Post article to learn more.

Interested in learning more about PLC Family Programs? Email Naeemah Jackson, Family Programs Director at or call her at 317.327.7144.

Family is everything – 6 Tips for Deeper Listening



Family is Everything – 6 Tips for Listening Deeply

 A Family is like a forest, when you are outside it is dense, but when you are inside, you see that each tree has its place.  – Yoruba People 

Today, right now, all families face challenges that can and do put terrific strains on establishing and maintaining harmony and peace. These circumstances press into, and lean on, and sometimes snap that family tie.  Challenges range from food insecurity, arguments, disrespect, sibling rivalry, inappropriate associates, joblessness, homelessness, and even violence.  One of the biggest reasons for conflict in families is miscommunication.

Peace Learning Center’s Connect and Communicate family program works with families to improve what is good in their communication.  A multitude of topics are covered such as: Understanding the 12 Blocks to Listening; Effective Listening; Listening with Empathy, Openness and Awareness; Conflict Resolution; and Peaceful Living.

We all want to be heard, so here are six tips on letting someone know you are hearing them:

  1. Maintain good eye contact.
  2. Lean slightly forward.
  3. Reinforce the speaker by nodding or paraphrasing.
  4. Clarify by asking questions.
  5. Actively move away from distractions.
  6. Be committed, even if you’re angry or upset, to understanding what is being said.

Last Saturday, at one of our Family Workshops in Eagle Creek Park, participants (ranging in age from 7 to 72) were asked, “When you hear the word family, what word comes to your mind?”   Here are some of their responses: brothers-sisters, support, love, caring, family dinners, survival, strength, values, integrity, and patience.  Clearly, family means something different to everyone.

The modern American family looks nothing like the traditional families that black and white TV upheld in the 50’s and 60’s – the idealized image of mothers as homemakers tending to the needs of her flock with never a lock of hair out of place. It seemed as if everything was wonderful and perfect then. All conflicts could be settled when Dad came home and all were smiling and settled around the dinner table.

Of course there are still families who carry on these traditions – family dinners – at least three or four times a week.  And then there are families who eat dinner with trays on their laps – watching television or a movie.  Some families only sit around a shared table during the holidays – especially Thanksgiving.  And then some families do not eat together at all.  What qualifies a unit to be called family?

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court held that marriage equality is the law of the land.  Another definition of family has come into play.  What about blended families? Or, families with blood ties only? Families consisting of adopted children – especially children who are not of the same ethnicity as their adopted parents – what about them?  Transgender parents are now becoming more visible in our country.  Again, what qualifies a unit to be called family?

Whether people group themselves into units labeled families based on marriage, nuclear and extended households, common ancestry, clan, affiliation, or fellowship –they have a glue that binds them together based on Love. And, helping families understand how to grow and nurture that love is what Peace Learning Center’s Family Programs do best.

For more information on how you, your family, or organization can participate in PLC’s Family Programs, contact: Naeemah Jackson by phone at 317-327-7144 or by email at

Indy Star Article Featuring C&C Family


Single moms and Indianapolis crime: ‘The streets raised him’

by Kristine Guerra, 9:36 a.m. EDT October 24, 2014

We’re so proud of Levia and Jalen Heffner who were featured in today’s IndyStar, for their strength and courage to make positive changes in their lives!

“Heffner also credits the Peace Learning Center. She and her children went through the organization’s Connect and Communicate program, which focuses on preventing violence through education and counseling and providing financial help to parents.

The sessions with Heffner and her family focused on the day-to-day struggles. Heffner learned to manage finances better. Jalen learned to settle even the most mundane household disputes, like taking out the trash.”

The Heffners are just one of many families that have been empowered through Peace Learning Center’s Connect & Communicate program which is made possible thanks to investments from the Women’s Fund, a Central Indiana Community Foundation Fund, and the Clowes Fund.

Click here to read the Indy Star’s article.

Click here to download a PDF copy of the article.



Family Programs


Naeemah Use


“If I am in harmony with my family, that is success. Ute People home affairs are not talked about in the public. Yoruba People a family tie is like a mighty tree, it can bend but it cannot break.” – Akan People

What molds us more than our family? Who comforts us more?  What teaches and directs us more than family?   And who, in the Naeemah Jacksonbest of cases, loves, nourishes and protects us more than our family? Family is our identity that stamps itself upon our very core. It’s how we act, react, talk, cook, dress, worship, laugh, work, see life, and see ourselves.

When a baby is born. The elders check the child out and try to figure who he or she looks like in the family. A few years into the development of the child, we hear from the elders again. “She acts just like Loretta!” Hopefully, Loretta was an ethical person. Or, “He has ways just like your Uncle Robert. I bet he turns out to be a good fisherman too.”

We are them and they are us.

But what to do when our family really isn’t a version of the idealistic “Huxtables,” or “The Cleavers?” When the mother can’t stay home to cook and do laundry wearing high heels and a strand of pearls? Oh, and the lace embroidered apron?  And when the father doesn’t come home every day at the same time – suit still immaculately pressed, briefcase slim but full of important documents; and shoes still shiny because they haven’t encountered any dust, dirt or gravel during his long demanding day?

What do families do when they watch TV and see other families enjoying fantastic vacations on Disney Cruises or traveling cross country in a brand new RV – singing songs and smiling so broadly you wonder how they will get their faces unstuck? When families who know that at the present they can never achieve this slice of the American pie; and the most they can hope for in a family vacation is a one-day visit to the State Fair (thank God for the coupons). What do these families do?

They do the same thing that all families do: watch TV; sit around the kitchen table or on the front stoop; have bbq cookouts – whether on a manicured lawn or on the front porch. They all have birthday parties; favorite family dishes at Thanksgiving; and anticipate the delight of upcoming holidays. Some families don’t have to think too hard about what to purchase, while some families look for opportunities to gather holiday gifts through charities.

All families have a glue that binds them together regardless of their ethnicity or socioeconomic backgrounds, and that is love.

Connect & Communicate (C&C), the flagship program in Peace Learning Center’s Family Programs, addresses the issues in families that threaten their unity and cohesiveness.

Today, right now – all families face challenges that can and do put terrific strains on establishing and maintaining harmony and peace. Circumstances that press into, and lean on, and sometimes snap that family tie. Food insecurity; arguments; disrespect of youth to parents or vice versa; sibling rivalry; inappropriate associates; poor school grades; joblessness; homelessness; and yes – violence. And one of the biggest reasons – miscommunication.

C&C works directly with families in their home in a non-threatening, non-judgmental and strictly confidential manner to gently peel back the layers of – sometimes unnoticed – reasons for the breakdown in communication. Everyone is held accountable.

Those who hang in there with the process – for at least six months, see a marked shift, for the better, in behaviors and attitude. Along with greater appreciation for the whole, family members also gain a greater appreciation for themselves and their important location on the family tree. The tree is strong, the roots are strong and the branches can become stronger.

Peace Learning Center’s Connect & Communicate program helps to make what is good even better.

For more information on how you or your organization can be a part of this initiative, contact Naeemah Jackson, Family Programs Director, or 317.327-7144.