17 07, 2021

SEL Strategy: Five Emojis

2021-09-23T13:57:28-04:00July 17th, 2021|Tags: , , , |

Did you know that July 17th is National Emoji Day? To celebrate, we're sharing a social-emotional check-in strategy that works for groups of any size and folks of all ages! Check out the video above to hear the directions and learn about ways this activity can be extended. These free slides make this a zero prep strategy for the classroom.

10 02, 2021

Tribes Learning Communities is Now Peace Learning Circles

2021-05-20T17:41:20-04:00February 10th, 2021|Tags: , |

Peace Learning Center has begun a rebranding process for the social emotional learning program formerly known as Tribes Learning Communities. Beginning February, the organization will now refer to the program as Peace Learning Circles or abbreviated as PLC. David Gibbs, former owner and son of Jeanne had this to say about the renaming, ". We support the name change decision and look forward to witnessing the continued growth and development of Peace Learning Circles. The importance of building healthy, caring communities for learning has never been greater." The name change and rebranding come in an effort to update the program materials, designs, and language to meet the needs and knowledge of the ever-changing educational and equity landscapes. During this transition period Peace Learning Center will be notifying stakeholders, updating materials (both in design and content), and continuing to build the program and its outreach. “We are forever grateful for the opportunity to further Jeanne’s [Founder, Author of Tribes] legacy and grow the program for a better and brighter tomorrow,” stated Tim Nation, Executive Director of Peace Learning Center. Peace Learning Circles better reflects the intentionality and inclusivity that the program and its curriculum’s objectives aim toward. “When Jeanne conceived of the Tribes program in the 1970s, many would have heard the name and thought little of its cultural connotations. ‘Tribes’ evoked images of community and connectedness. This line of thinking likely persisted into recent years in large part because

22 07, 2020

The Power of Youth

2021-05-20T17:41:21-04:00July 22nd, 2020|

by Clare Wildhack-Nolan Whenever I am fortunate enough to be facilitating a  group of young people, I first connect to them by acknowledging and lifting up their power as leaders, not in the future, but now. They are and can be leaders for peace. I  ask them to raise their hands if they believe that adults have created a problem-free world for them. I have had one younger child raise their hand, out of hundreds. I then ask them if they think adults have created problems that now they have to solve. Hands fly up. Then I let them know that I am sorry, and many of us are trying our best to solve them, but that we really need them. As my coworker Naeemah Jackson always points out, youth are the tip of the spear. They carry insights into the current times I often miss, and the energy, passion, and power to challenge the adults and innovate. Each generation has. Getting to facilitate Social Justice based conversations with youth always gives me hope. The narrative that teens are off on their screens, wrapped up just in themselves, is a false one. Their deep care for their families, communities, and faith is always at the center of their conversation and work. And they have a keen awareness of where injustice may be taking place. My/Our approach to supporting youth leaders is in offering critical thinking practice, an opportunity to

26 06, 2020

Summer at PLC

2021-05-20T17:41:23-04:00June 26th, 2020|

by Tim Nation, Executive Director While the school year is over, it is not time for a break at Peace Learning Center. Our team facilitates training and workshops for youth and adults throughout the summer. We are getting many requests for help with equity education including implicit bias and responsive circles. Based in restorative practices, responsive circles are an open forum for sharing, reflecting, and moving to action in response to a problem, opportunity, and/or event. Many groups need time and attention to process how they will move toward racial inclusion, and how life is changing because of Covid-19. Our Family Learning workshops attract youth and adults together who want to build peace in their homes. Also, schools are working with us to train their administrators and staff on restorative practices to replace their exclusionary systems of suspensions and expulsions. We continue to provide social and emotional learning to youth through summer camps by providing virtual learning to build conflict resolution skills throughout Indianapolis, as well as hosting Social Justice Camp for teens and Climate Camp through a partnership with Indiana Earth Charter and HEART.  ACT Out Theatre Ensemble performs live at Indy Parks summer camps and other sites around town. Our new Tribes Learning Communities is also keeping us busy as we schedule trainings and sell materials through our online store at http://tribes.com. You can participate in our virtual workshops that include implicit bias, family learning, understanding and

10 06, 2020

A New Chapter for Peace Learning Center

2021-05-20T17:41:23-04:00June 10th, 2020|Tags: , |

When Jeanne Gibbs wrote the first Tribes book in the 1970’s, little did she realize that the Tribes Learning Community process would help build community in educational settings well into the 21st century. In the last 25 years, with the support of many dedicated staff and district trainers, Tribes has reached over 46,000 educators and their students in over 10,500 schools in 43 countries. This leading social emotional learning (SEL) program currently offers training for elementary, middle and high school educators, as well as after school and youth development programs. The future of Tribes is now brighter than ever! Peace Learning Center (PLC) is pleased to announce that Jeanne and her home tribe have chosen us to lead Tribes Learning Communities moving forward. PLC has been working in the Indianapolis community for 23 years, serving over 230,000 youth and adults. After years of collaborative efforts between Tribes and Peace Learning Center, two like-minded organizations, we are collectively excited about this new chapter for Peace Learning Center. TLC to PLC… a perfect fit! Peace Learning Center's programs fall into three pillars 1) Social Emotional Learning 2) Equity and 3) Restorative Justice. Tribes will fill a gap in services with an evidence-based curriculum that all of our program facilitators have now been trained in. PLC staff will continue working in Central Indiana schools and the community with youth, teachers, and youth-workers using what they have learned from Tribes in addition to the

28 10, 2019

Restorative Practices Train-the-Trainer

2021-05-20T17:41:25-04:00October 28th, 2019|Tags: , |

by Kristina Hulvershorn We are all “The Peace People.”   I find myself saying that phrase more and more often.  As we learn and evolve as an organization, we strive to make the greatest impacts in the communities we serve.  In my world of restorative practices, we have learned the hard way that sometimes by being a good resource, we can actually do a disservice to our constituents. Let me explain. When we first began implementing restorative practices, we were eager to gain experience leading circles.  This was beneficial to the people who were part of them, but also to us as learners.  As we became more skilled practitioners, our partners began to lean on us more and more.  This felt good because our work 1) was working and 2) was valued.  As time went on, though, we realized that we had also poured a lot of time and energy into training people to do this work in their own schools and organizations.  Our presence, though, made us the peace people, and they had a much harder time seeing that they too were totally capable of the very same feats of peacemaking. We thought long and hard about how we can support schools and organizations. One way we did this was to look at the data that showed us which school and organizational partners were excelling in their implementation of restorative practices. There was an inverse relationship between those schools

19 09, 2019

Our Equity Journey

2021-05-20T17:41:25-04:00September 19th, 2019|Tags: , , |

by Natalie Spriggs, Director of Programs Here at Peace Learning Center, the staff spend a lot of time discussing and analyzing equity.  If folks are talking about peace, equity must be part of the conversation AND the conversation has to be more than a check box of “we talked about it, now we are good.” What does equity look like here at Peace Learning Center? This is the question staff at PLC continually ask.  One of the places PLC has landed is how to work from a place of consensus, where power is shared, especially in decision-making.  One example of how PLC moved to a place of consensus in decision-making is moving from administration team meetings to full staff meetings.  Before, large decisions were being made by those in power, administration, with no other staff “at the table”.  PLC now has full staff meetings in place of administration meetings where information and decision-making is shared between all staff. Equity also looks like analyzing all that PLC does through an anti-racist lens.  For example, when looking at policies we analyze: Who wrote the policy? Who does this policy benefit? Is this policy fair? Why does this policy exist? etc.  PLC opened the policy discussion by starting out with the full staff reviewing the policy handbook. This was a long process, and is not done yet, but it ensures that everyone’s voice has a chance to be heard. Peace Learning Center

21 06, 2019

Summer at PLC

2021-05-20T17:41:27-04:00June 21st, 2019|Tags: , , , |

by Kate Owens Summer is a busy time at Peace Learning Center! Summer means it’s time for Peacebuilders camp! One of our most prominent summer programs is Peacebuilders Camp. Peacebuilders Camp takes place from May-July and often focuses on issues like teambuilding, conflict resolution, mindfulness and building communication skills. Different groups come to attend a day of camp throughout the summer, so no two days at Peacebuilder Camp are the same, but each one brings fun, learning, and growth. Upon arrival, a PLC facilitator goes over the day’s agenda and the students make their own “Agreements for Peace”, which is a list of guidelines the students set for themselves about how they should act to be respectful and get the most out of their day at PLC. Once the guidelines are set and agreed to, it’s time for some icebreaker games! These are important because it helps the kids get comfortable and start opening up, which is important for the rest of the day’s activities. The game River Crossing is always a hit at Peacebuilders Camp. The group must work together to get from one side of the ‘river’ to the other by stepping on a limited number of ‘logs’ or mats. If anyone falls off their mat, the whole group has to start over. To do this successfully, it’s necessary for the campers to listen to each other and work as a team to reach the other side

31 05, 2019

AMPLIFY Youth Summit Recap

2021-05-20T17:41:28-04:00May 31st, 2019|Tags: , , |

by Kate Owens On May 21st, Peace Learning Center hosted 150 students in downtown Indianapolis at the Athenaeum for the 4th annual youth symposium. This year’s theme was Amplify: Harnessing the Power of Youth Voice. This event, presented by PLC in collaboration with the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction, brought together students who are leaders in their schools to develop the skills to use their own voices as an agent for change. The focus of the event was youth activism and youth harnessing the power of their own voices. The participants learned about youth changemakers and the difference one kid can make in their own community. Upon arrival, the students ate breakfast and watched the short film Little Warriors about a group of Indianapolis kids who made a difference on environmental issues through action and advocacy. The film tells the story of how these students got a climate change resolution passed in the Indianapolis City-County Council. After being inspired by the Little Warriors film, the youth broke into small groups for more in-depth activities. In their small groups, the students read the book Secret of the Troublemakers by PLC’s own Kristina Hulvershorn. Secret of the Troublemakers is a call to action for disruption of the system in the pursuit of changing the world. Next, they learned about a few powerful youth activists like ‘Little Miss Flint’ Mari Copeny, who has done amazing work in her community surrounding

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