Peace Learning Center joins the nation in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15). We believe this country is made greater by the culture, history, and contributions of Hispanic Americans. In this blog we have included 1.) a brief explanation of terms, 2.) local groups whose work center the Hispanic community, and 3.) local events where we can join others in celebrating this special time! 1. Terms Hispanic refers to people of Spanish-speaking origin. “Hispanic” is an ethnicity. The term was adopted in the 1970s by the U.S. government to try to classify people from Latin America under a common identity (NPR). Under federal policy, Hispanic is not a race. However, many multiracial Americans consider their Hispanic background as part of their race (Pew). Latino (grammatically masculine) or Latina (grammatically feminine) refers to people residing in the U.S. who are of Latin-American descent (NPR). Some use Latinx or Latine as gender-neutral terms. “Brazilians are Latino because the country is located in Latin America. But Brazilians aren’t considered Hispanic because the country’s primary language is Portuguese. Meanwhile, Latinx identity brings together people in South and Central America, who may share a history of Spanish colonization, but that category isn’t defined by having Spanish-speaking ancestry,” (Vox). 2. Local Groups La Plaza OUR MISSION: La Plaza strengthens Central Indiana by advocating and preparing Latino students for educational success and by connecting Latino families to health and social services. OUR
Peace Learning Center was surrounded by friends, family, and community members on Saturday, August 27th to commemorate 25 years since our founding. Support from the community resulted in more than $50,000 raised to support youth in Indianapolis. The event was made possible by funding from: Efroymson Family Fund CNO Financial Group Eskenazi Health Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum Citizens Energy Group Christian Theological Seminary Indianapolis Airport Authority Epsilon Xi Glick Philanthropies Pacers Sports & Entertainment Additional support for the event provided by: Butler University Subaru Automotive of Indiana Earth Charter Indiana Among those present for the celebration included Americorps alums who served at PLC. One Americorp alum, Dee Radford, recalled how the social and workforce skills she taught youth at PLC became applicable in her nonprofit work after Americorps. "Thank you for the opportunity to allow me to express myself and bring other people into this realm of peacefulness," Rad said. Jessica Brand, board member, emphasized the importance of our mission and vision. Founder and CEO Tim Nation explained Peace Learning Center's advocacy for restorative disciplinary actions in schools built on “love and respect” rather than “fear and intimidation.” "What we’ve been trying to do is work directly with young people to teach them how to have healthy relationships. And how to deal with conflicts and differences,” Nation said. Deputy Mayor Judith Thomas presented the PLC team with a proclamation, on behalf of Mayor Joe Hogsett, declaring August 27th, 2022
Meet Bernard Mickle Please provide 2-3 sentences about yourself (where you work/go to school, hobbies) Chicago Native who is an Indy transient. Proud graduate from Indianapolis Public Schools. Took my talents to Indiana University, where I graduated with a degree in Social Work. I have served over 15 years in urban community engagement work. Currently serving as the Office of Public Health & Safety Chief Violence Reduction Officer, Program Manager. My hobbies are hanging out with my wife and 2 children, working out and getting time with my friends. What is it about PLC’s work that appeals to you? PLC diversity/inclusivity work that engages in prevention appeals to me the most. Being that I was impacted by the work of PLC as an elementary student truly played a part in changing my life as a young person. What kind of work are you doing with PLC? I want my personal and professional experiences to serve as an asset to our board. With that being said, I hope to impact programming and be a connector for PLC. Can you tell us a memorable experience or something you have learned during your time with PLC? Being that I am new, my most memorable experience was the board orientation. Learning more in depth about PLC and all the work that we are doing was amazing. PLC has been a change agent that has proved its value in how it adapts and changes
Meet Anita Jackson, Director of Community CARE* *Community, Advocacy, Reconciliation, and Engagement Let’s start with the easy stuff – give us a sample of your professional background and experience. My academic background is in education. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Education from IUPUI and taught for about 4 years. I recently returned to IUPUI to pursue my MPA in Nonprofit Management. In my 11 years of nonprofit experience, I have held direct-service and leadership positions. Some of the organizations I have worked at are the Brightwood Community Center, YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, Eskenazi Heath, Families First, and Catholic Charities Indianapolis. What brought you to PLC? It’s always been a dream of mine to work at PLC. I became familiar with PLC as a teacher and was impressed with the conflict resolution programs and curriculum. The Director of Community CARE position was appealing to me because it would allow me the opportunity to build community collaborations and provide an opportunity for young people to be more successful in their school endeavors. What are you most excited about in your new role? There are so many things I am looking forward to doing in this role. I am most excited to collaborate with other agencies like Reach for Youth, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Edna Martin Community Center, and external partners on this project. What’s your idea of a perfect day? My perfect day would
Kay Tawney "About 8 years ago, I retired from the healthcare field. My time is spent reading, gardening, travelling, and enjoying the birds who come to my feeders. In this time of conflict in our country and in the world, PLC's mission as a catalyst for peace, equity and justice is severely needed. I am proud to do my part in small ways that help administration contribute to that cause. It's been wonderful to watch spring unfold at Eagle Creek." Kay, Peace Learning Center thanks you for helping us strive towards our mission.
Meet Robin G. Jackson, M.A. Please provide 2-3 sentences about yourself (where you work/go to school, hobbies) I am a Doctoral Candidate in Urban Education Studies, in the IUPUI School of Education. I am also a Doctoral Research Assistant at the Midwest & Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP Center). My current hobbies include binging true crime/horror shows, documentaries, and podcasts. You know. To relax. What is it about PLC’s work that appeals to you? My own work with the MAP Center involves assisting in providing technical assistance to state and local education agencies across a 13-state region—which encompasses guiding our partners through developing antiracist and anti-oppressive practices to better serve all students, but minoritized students in particular. PLC’s work is in this wheelhouse, which is what drew me in. I appreciate the ongoing work PLC is willing to do to ensure they are honoring its vision of becoming an anti-racist organization. Anti-racism is a journey, not a destination. I believe this sentiment is understood, lessons are learned and internalized, and the discomfort is welcomed. What kind of work are you doing with PLC? I have been a board member since Spring 2019. I bring with me criticality and a repository of equity-centered resources—both that have been afforded to me through my Doctoral training, in conjunction with an immersion in scholarship and technical assistance at the MAP Center. Can you tell us a memorable experience or something you have learned
Let’s start with the easy stuff – give us a sample of your professional background and experience. I have over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. I’ve worked in youth development, fundraising, disability services, and advocacy. I’ve also served on many advisory committees and a few boards of directors. My first nonprofit job was at CYO Camp Rancho Framasa in Brown County. I did a little bit of every program for the organization over the years, but my favorite job was supporting youth with disabilities. The programs there are designed to ensure all children are fully included in all aspects of the program. I also recently finished a Master of Public Affairs in Nonprofit Management from IUPUI. It was great to take my past nonprofit experience and connect it to theory and best practice. I also made sure to keep a critical eye on norms in the sector that do not support diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion. What brought you to PLC? I first heard about the Peace Learning Center through my good friend Kelly Hannon. She attended Peace Learning Center programs while in high school and reconnected with PLC as a high school educator pursuing a master’s degree at IUPUI. I connected with their organization and did a presentation for PLC staff on disability diversity, equity, and inclusion with my previous nonprofit employer, accessABILITY. After finishing my master’s degree, I was looking to
Let’s start with the easy stuff – give us a sample of your professional background and experience. I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. I earned a Bachelor’s in creative writing from Oberlin College in northern Ohio. My professional journey has been very diverse: copywriting, research, animal caretaking, environmental stewardship, teaching, film and live-show production assistantship, and a few other hats. My service as an AmeriCorps Public Ally instilled a sense of confidence that I could be a leader in my community. I am passionate about finding creative ways for us all to understand the beautifully complex world around us. What brought you to PLC? Having experienced its programming in my youth, I was already a fan of PLC’s work. I believe PLC is an environment in which I can continue the work I love (bringing people together for the common good) while also gaining a wealth of peaceful practices that will serve me wherever I go. What are you most excited about in your new role? I am looking forward to maintaining and strengthening the relationships between PLC and its internal and external communities through effective communication. What’s your idea of a perfect day? A picnic and walk with my cat in a wide-open field in the morning, writing a funny script in the afternoon, and talking with friends under the stars long into the night. If we pushed play
Meet Vicki Rubio I've lived in Indianapolis for about 14 years and really appreciate the community I've built here. I work for Citizen University as a Program Manager. I get joy out of reading, exploring, and gardening, particularly with native plants. What is it about PLC's work that appeals to you? One of the things that drew me to PLC was the internal work the organization has and continues to undertake to implement anti-racist practices and policies. That internal work is so important for an organization that is working with schools and other community members and groups to advance equity and justice. What kind of work do you do with PLC? I'm currently serving as secretary of the board and also serve on the finance committee. In these roles, I support planning for our monthly board meetings and help provide financial oversight. Can you tell us a memorable experience or something you have learned during your time at PLC? I have learned about the impact that restorative justice and social-emotional learning practices can have in schools. Teachers are building critical skills for engaging with students through PLC workshops. Students are learning about how to manage conflict effectively and how to build a better classroom community with their peers. This work is so vital to building a stronger, more peaceful Indianapolis.
Let’s start with the easy stuff – give us a sample of your professional background and experience. In addition to working in the industry for eleven years, I’ve consulted for diversity and inclusion (D&I) for nearly two decades. My skills and experiences in demand included auditing to determine the current D&I gaps within the business, troubleshooting to pinpoint root causes of D&I issues, creating results-oriented D&I programming, and resolving intercultural conflicts. As a cultural anthropologist, I am interested in best practices in diversity and inclusion in corporate settings as well as cross-cultural issues in a variety of spaces. I have advised both domestically and internationally, and offer my services in my free time to local non-profits to remove barriers for marginalized youth and adults and promote intercultural peace and understanding What brought you to PLC? PLC’s mission and values align to my own, and demonstrates them daily through its committed support in serving the community. What are you most excited about in your new role? Collaborating with like-minded individuals in service to the community. What’s your idea of a perfect day? Spending time with my family (and that includes my pup!) doing anything at all. Oh, and a pot of masala chai! If we pushed play on what you were last listening to (music, podcast or otherwise) what would we hear? Anecdotes of the Buddha’s life, as related to his disciples, collected in Old Path, White