6 01, 2022

Meet Director of Equity Learning, Nirupama Hayden

2022-01-27T12:16:35-05:00January 6th, 2022|Tags: , , |

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

9 11, 2021

Noun, Plural, Fam-i-lies

2021-11-09T16:31:10-05:00November 9th, 2021|

by Naeemah Jackson a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family the children of one person or one couple collectively: the spouse and children of one person: any group of people closely related by blood or marriage, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins: So, what is your personal definition of family?  Who is considered “family?”  to you? There’s the traditional family unit: mother, father, children that  Boomers grew up with while glued to the television watching June Cleaver in “Leave it to Beaver;” clad in her ever-present billowy dress, lovely apron, pearls, and vacuuming in high heels.  Then we saw Donna Reed, in “The Donna Reed Show;” again, elegantly dressed and cleaning in high heels.  Can’t forget “Father Knows Best.”  But then things changed.  Enter the  70’s, the ’80s, and ’90s,  where families portrayed on television broke the 50’s mold.  From blended families as in the ”Brady Bunch,” irreverent families as in “Married with Children,” and “The Conners,” taboo-breaking families like “Archie Bunker and All in the Family,” and of course ground breaking shows like “Good Times” and “The Huxtables,” which portrayed Black families from two different socio-economic worlds.  One living in the projects, and one with a father who is a medical doctor,  and

5 10, 2021

A Look Back at Hispanic Heritage Month

2021-10-05T20:49:32-04:00October 5th, 2021|

by Liz Guadiana The Peace Learning Center was so excited to host its very first Latinx Circle: Community Conversations session on September 15th to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month (presented by Liz Guadiana and Iliana Enriquez). We wanted to engage the Latinx community in a dialogue around what was most important to them. Often, we have seen many parallels between American and Latinx counterparts regarding cultural, societal, and familial issues. With that in mind, we created a space for Latinx individuals to voice their concerns or stories pertaining to these very issues. Our opening circle brings us all in by introducing ourselves to each other by name along with any roles or affiliations to an organization. In recognition of the many Latinx cultures that encompass the identity, we showed a short video of Latinx people around the country. It gave us insight into an all-women Mexican mariachi band, the story of how traditional tamales made their way to Mississippi through a family-owned business, and the day-in-a-life of a grocery store owner/radio DJ in the heart of New York. This incited great discussion around what makes us, us. As soon as we started sharing our experiences, we could feel the ‘room’ soften because of how relatable they were to us. Affirming head nods, speaking from the heart, mixed in with some levity helped us all unburden ourselves in a way. Towards the end, we all felt like we had just

6 07, 2021

The Imperative to Work Towards Equity

2021-09-23T13:58:13-04:00July 6th, 2021|Tags: , |

by Mame Keita, Facilitator-Coordinator These past two years have been very telling. The pandemic has exacerbated thus revealed entrenched issues within our society. From health to housing, to education and police brutality to just cite a few, the problems are glaring, acute, and widespread.  These inequities demand our immediate collective attention and effort. The time to embrace the challenge of working towards equity is now, when our minds are still fresh, our hearts still bleeding and our anger is still burning strong enough to demand change from our institutions. Our institutions, from public to private, large to small, national or local, confronted with our communal outrage, promised us change. Many of them created compelling equity statements and declared publicly their commitment to equity, but that is not enough. The right, consistent and widely different actions are what will  make those ideals a reality. Our community also needs to hold the institutions accountable to those  promises if we want to see their realization. The work required is not easy and faced with challenging realities, attitudes can be those of the status quo, or worse, of regress. The justifications can be endless, lack of time, lack of money, unclear path, or just too much trouble until the next crisis.  If we fail to work tirelessly to make the changes required, we will soon find ourselves facing the same problem over and over again and wondering why. The road towards equity is

7 06, 2021

Emma Horton – Eagle Scout Candidate Completes PLC Service Project

2021-09-23T14:01:30-04:00June 7th, 2021|Tags: , , |

Emma Horton is one of our country’s first female Eagle Scout candidates. A senior at North Central High School in Indianapolis, she decided to focus her community service project at Peace Learning Center inside Eagle Creek Park because of its mission to help people learn how to be peacemakers. Completing a needs assessment of the facility, Emma chose to install new safety rails including a 70’ handrail along a stairway trail to the water behind the building. A newer stairway did not include a handrail down the steep descent to Eagle Creek Reservoir. Two other handrails leading from upper parking to the building were damaged and needed replaced.  In addition, because of Covid and the need for more outdoor spaces, Emma chose to construct new picnic benches. Altogether Emma recruiting 30 volunteers to help with the project contributing over 166 hours of labor. “We are so thankful for all the work Emma and her team completed to help Peace Learning Center,” said Tim Nation.  “ Not only did they address facility safety concerns, they also added outdoor place to serve young people this summer and beyond.” Here are some of the pictures:

20 05, 2021

Statewide (Free) Restorative Practices Train the Trainer -Apply Today!

2021-09-23T14:03:24-04:00May 20th, 2021|Tags: , , |

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.

20 04, 2021

Statement on the Derek Chauvin trial verdict, and the need to continue fighting for justice

2021-09-23T14:04:37-04:00April 20th, 2021|Tags: , |

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.

16 04, 2021

Statement on the FedEx Facility Shooting

2021-09-23T14:04:50-04:00April 16th, 2021|Tags: , |

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

6 04, 2021

Meet Facilitator-Coordinator & Spanish Specialist, Iliana Enriquez

2021-09-23T14:06:19-04:00April 6th, 2021|Tags: , |

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

1 03, 2021

Meet Director of Social Emotional Learning, Brooke Shoopman

2021-09-23T14:06:05-04:00March 1st, 2021|Tags: , , |

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

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