Meet Madeline Mason I am a Social Emotional Learning Coach and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion facilitator. Middle school is my specialty and my favorite! I am also a Ph.D. student in IUPUI's Urban Education Studies program. I spend most of my time with my husband and our 15-year-old pug Carl Jones. What is it about PLC's work that appeals to you? I love the intersection of academics, social emotional learning, and anti-racism in the work of PLC. I also love their strengths regarding Restorative Justice. What kind of work do you do with PLC? I have worked with PLC pretty much since Day 1 of my education career 11 years ago. From bringing restorative practices and implicit bias work to a handful of different schools I have worked to do peer mentoring work directly with my students. PLC is special to me because we have always been partners! I also volunteer co-facilitating implicit bias workshops and serve as a board member. Can you tell us a memorable experience or something you have learned during your time at PLC? I partnered with PLC back in 2017, and we led a very special class I was teaching called Student Voices through peer mentoring training. Not only was the day in itself amazing as we hiked, connected, and learned together, but watching my students then come back to our school (shout out to Harshman middle school in IPS!) and lead their peers
Peace Learning Center, in partnership with DMHA, has created a FREE train-the-trainer program for schools across the state of Indiana. In the Fall of 2021, the module for the Northern region of Indiana will begin. . Each participating school will send a small team who will: Receive 5 days of training and will emerge as trainers, capable of training the rest of your staff Receive all training materials and resources Create a restorative discipline plan to help move your practices from punitive to restorative Be connected to a cohort of other schools to learn from and share resources Receive support and consultation from Peace Learning Center The training will be held completely virtually via Zoom. Apply here.
Quick! How many names for mother can you name off the top of your head? Here are a few: Iya, Yoruba language Madre, Italian Mama, Spanish Amai, Shona Mae, Portuguese Tina, Samoan Mathair, Irish No matter what culture – Mothers are traditionally loved, honored, revered, respected, cherished, cared for, and protected. Mothers are life-givers who do not hesitate to do what is necessary for the betterment, and upliftment of their children, grandchildren, as well as great-grandchildren. No task is too hard and no mountain is too high for her to climb when it comes to her, as my Grandmother called us, her “get.” The Yoruba People of Nigeria say no prayers are more potent and powerful than the prayers of a Mother for her child. Here is a story on how the tears of Mothers can bring forth hope and strength when there seems to only be despair: The Legend of the Cherokee Rose In the latter half of 1838, Cherokee People who had not voluntarily moved west earlier were forced to leave their homes in the East. The trail to the West was long and treacherous and many were dying along the way. The People's hearts were heavy with sadness and their tears mingled with the dust of the trail. The Elders knew that the survival of the children depended upon the strength of the women. One evening around the campfire, the Elders called upon Heaven Dweller, ga
Mary Palin is one of our facilitators for Peace Learning Circles – a process for building a learning community through positive, productive relationships and SEL-academic connections. She did this for 20 years with middle school students before turning her attention to training educators full time. PLC has welcomed her experience and she is happy to have landed in an organization so dedicated to empowering individuals to create a caring community. Zooming inclusion strategies with PLC staff has been a highlight for new learning opportunities as well as appreciation for belonging to such an inspiring organization. ‘Novel in an Hour’ was a memorable moment during one of our meetings. When Mary isn’t facilitating Peace Learning Circles, she spends her time enjoying horses, hikes, and motorcycles.
Today we celebrate the verdict in the murder of George Floyd, but we do not celebrate the circumstances and systems that created an America in which this could occur. We acknowledge that, in many ways, Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdicts are too little, too late. Yet, we want to honor that today marks the first time in American history our judicial system has sent the message that Black Lives Matter and that police violence is not co-signed by all. Given the racist foundations of our nation's judicial system and governing laws, we realize that our society can only begin to imagine what accountability can and should look like. As Keith Ellison so clearly stated, “I would not call today’s verdict justice, however. Because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step toward justice. And now the cause of justice is in your hands.” To our white community members, we ask you to continue disrupting racism in all forms, to grow into active co-conspirators, and to celebrate instances of Black joy and excellence as often as you highlight Black suffering. To our Black and brown community members, we offer you our continued solidarity and support. We will continue alongside you in the fight for meaningful change.
It is with both heavy hearts and righteous anger that we learned of the mass shooting in our own community at the FedEx facility. Too often, our nation is waking up, tuning in, and closing our eyes to news of gun violence. We reach out to those affected by this tragedy. We send love and light to them and the community at large. It is important that we acknowledge that our thoughts are not enough. Each time someone is killed by senseless gun violence it is a reminder that our systems are not working for a vast majority of our population. Action is necessary. Peace Learning Center stands with our community and will continue to advocate for change. #IndianapolisStrong
Let’s start with the easy stuff – give us a sample of your professional background and experience. I graduated from IUPUI in December of 2018 with a degree in Civic Leadership and minors in Spanish and Public Management. During my time in undergrad, I was a social justice scholar. As a social justice scholar, I discovered my passion for DEI work. During the first 6 months after I graduated, I worked as a substitute teacher at IPS schools and as a youth worker through the John Boner Center. After that, I landed a position at Marian University’s career development office. During my time at Marian, I became a member of the Community Engaged Learning Committee, in which I still serve as a community member. I also recently became a member of MCCOY’s board. What brought you to PLC? I have wanted to be involved with Peace Learning Center since I was in undergrad. I feel like the mission and the values of this organization directly align with my personal values and goals. It is very important for me to be at an organization that does work that benefits the greater good. What are you most excited about in your new role? I’m excited to be in a position where I can use my skills and talents to do work in a field that I am passionate about. I Iook forward to growing as a facilitator and
Meet Jeff Howell I moved to the eastside of Indianapolis 7 years ago to work alongside others on social justice issues in an urban environment. I am a Real Estate Broker and a property manager. I enjoy spending time with friends, bicycling, and nature. What is it about PLC's work that appeals to you? The work that PLC does appeals to me because it humanizes all people, and works towards conciliation and peace. What kind of work do you do with PLC? I help facilitate conversations on Implicit Bias. Can you tell us a memorable experience or something you have learned during your time at PLC? Working with the diverse group of facilitators at PLC has been a great blessing. I get to know my co-facilitators more personally and learn how to better 'ebb and flow' with our different personalities in facilitating together.
Let’s start with the easy stuff – give us a sample of your professional background and experience. After graduating from the University of Missouri with a degree in Secondary Education and a minor in Psychology, I taught junior high English and Social Studies for 5 years. I also served as an Equity and Inclusion Coach and Social Emotional Learning Coordinator for my school. I was very fortunate to be able to attend a wide variety of wonderful equity, inclusion, and social emotional learning trainings during my time as an educator. What brought you to PLC? Oh man, my journey to PLC goes back a few years. At the time, Marc Williams was the biggest proponent of restorative practices in our district. He invited PLC to present on RP at one of our district-wide professional development days, and I happened to attend that session. It marked a major shift in my professional and personal beliefs. I really started to focus on educating myself and finding other mentors like Marc. Over time, it just got harder and harder to ignore certain systemic issues. In August 2020, I reached a breaking point. Myself and other educators in my community were fighting hard for some essential changes, and we just kept hitting wall after wall. I realized that I needed to rethink how I was trying to effect change, and I decided to visit PLC’s website. I was only intending