14 09, 2016

Peace Learning Center and the Ivy Tech New Leaders Academy

2021-05-20T17:41:50-04:00September 14th, 2016|Tags: , |

by John McShane, Community Programs Director PLC Community Programs recently started a new partnership with Ivy Tech Community College. We called the initiative, “The Ivy Tech New Leaders Academy.” This half-day learning experience combined the values of the Butler Way with the community leadership and peace building aspects of PLC. The goal of the project was to partner with Ivy Tech and other community leaders in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of a half day workshop/seminar for a select group of first or second-year students. The Ivy Tech New Leaders Academy provided learning, skill development, networking, and career planning opportunities for participants. Through help and support from PLC and Ivy Tech, the workshop was provided free of charge. The target population for the workshop included Ivy Tech students from two particular groups. Each group has been identified as facing unique challenges in securing educational and career development opportunities. Workshop participants included: Bowen Scholars: Students in a scholarship fund supporting African-Americans who attend or plan to attend Ivy Tech Community College. Participants must be a U.S. citizen, have completed at least 6 college-level credits at the time of application, and are residents of Marion County. Nina Scholars Program: Students provided a scholarship award to assist with the student's cost of attendance at Ivy Tech Community College. The Nina Scholars Program provides financial support toward the cost of attendance for up to four years at Ivy Tech including books, fees, and

4 08, 2016

Climate Camp, Overview

2017-05-25T16:02:16-04:00August 4th, 2016|Tags: , , |

Final Notes from Climate Camp 2016 Indianapolis, Ind. (July 30, 2016) – Earth Charter Indiana and its youth program, Youth Power Indiana, along with partner Peace Learning Center and HEART, collaborated once again on their annual weeklong Climate Camp, July 25-29. Youth are available for interviews upon request. Highlights of the Week: · Presentations by and on: o #JustTrayNo youth, four 11-year-old students who convinced IPS officials to stop using polystyrene lunch trays starting this school year o The Promise Project, Carmel-based Climate Campers working with elected officials on climate recovery o Climate Recovery, Indy-based Climate Campers working with elected officials on climate recovery o Youth action in the United States · A public showing of Josh Fox’s (Gasland) new documentary, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change · A nature hike around Eagle Creek Park · A visit to the Nature Conservancy, Indy’s most sustainable building, where Climate Campers also learned all about The Children of Indiana Nature Park, recently launched in Centerville, Indiana · A tour of IndyGo’s new Downtown Transit Center · A Mock City County Council meeting, where Campers familiarized themselves with the city county council and how the public is engaged in impacting local policy · A trip to Freewheelin’ Community Bikes, where youth leaders helped Climate Campers tune up their bikes, learning bike safety and maintenance in preparation for their afternoon ride · Indy’s first-ever Tour de

19 05, 2016

Koinonia Project – Phase 2

2021-05-20T17:41:58-04:00May 19th, 2016|Tags: , , , |

Around this time last year, Peace Learning Center's Youth Development Facilitator, Melita Carter, embarked on a dream to help reinvigorate the East Side through a service project that would bring youth, public servants, and the community as a whole together. This project, aptly named Koinonia, meaning to propel the community forward, has been accomplished so much in the past year. She hoped that it would create a sense of ownership for her community to compel them to care for their neighbors and the world we live in. Phase 1 of the Koinonia Project involved a three-day clean-up of the East Side. Volunteers collected over 500 bags of trash in their quest to clean up the streets! Phase 2 of Koinonia is now underway and involves having local artists paint six traffic boxes across the East Side. The first of these traffic boxes has now been completed. The box is located on the corner of 38th and Mitthoeffer in front of John Marshall High School, one of Peace Learning Center's partner schools. The first box artwork was designed and done by N. Beth Line. "This box will provoke through conversations, joy, love, peace, community building," Melita Carter. The artist, N. Beth Line, said she's received nothing but good feedback and people yelling from their cars "good job!" "that's beautiful!" and "thank you!" "My thoughts at the beginning of this project were that I am tired of

22 09, 2015

The Mindful Path – Mindfulness Connects Police and Community

2021-05-20T17:42:07-04:00September 22nd, 2015|Tags: , , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! In this last post of the quarter on Mindfulness and the Community, we’ll introduce how mindfulness practiced by police officers connects them to the community in a unique and meaningful way that improves outcomes. Let’s start with a video from mindful.org, the online home of “Mindful,” the print magazine, and lots of additional content. Watch Richard Goerling talk about how mindful policing can make a difference: Mindful Policing Video Below is a link in mindful.org to a related article that Goerling wrote for “The Police Chief,” where he discusses the reactive approach police generally use, and how applying mindfulness on the job can enhance officer performance in the most challenging situations, improving police-citizen encounters. Mindfulness Impacts Police Article Finally, in this article from the management consulting firm, Hay Group, see what happens to the brain under stress, and how mindfulness can make a difference: Brain Stress Article The Hay Group article demonstrates how awareness of what’s happening and taking mindful action can dramatically impact a stressful police situation. Every time I read the opening example, it gives me chills because it’s clear that mindfulness can mean the difference between life and death on any given day, depending on how a police officer decides to handle a situation. Mindfulness can be a powerful resource for our communities. Where do you see its application in the area where you live? Are there ways that you can

8 09, 2015

The Mindful Path – Impacting the Community Through the Arts

2021-05-20T17:42:08-04:00September 8th, 2015|Tags: , , , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! I have a wonderful mindfulness story to share with you in this post. It’s about Bill Strickland, an incredible man with an amazing vision. Some years ago, I had the opportunity to see Bill make a presentation as part of a “Fast Company” magazine event, and the power of his story, passion for making a difference, and personal presence are forever in my thoughts. In high school, Bill found himself drifting without purpose. One day, he went by the classroom of Frank Ross, an art teacher who was making clay pots. Bill wandered in and asked Ross to show him how to do that, and the experience was the start of changing his life. Ultimately, with mentoring from Ross, Bill went to college. He found an audacious way to give back to his community, transforming the lives of young students and adults. Bill saw the impact the arts had on his life, and he had to find a way to share it with others. Bill is a community leader, author, and the President and CEO of the non-profit Manchester Bidwell Corporation based in Pittsburgh. The company's subsidiaries, the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and Bidwell Training Center, work with disadvantaged and at-risk youth through involvement with the arts and provides job training for adults, respectively. Strickland is a winner of a MacArthur “Genuis” Award and the 2011 Goi Peace Award. The best way to really understand

18 08, 2015

The Mindful Path – Transforming the Corrections System

2021-05-20T17:42:09-04:00August 18th, 2015|Tags: , , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! In this post, another in our series this quarter on mindfulness in the community, we’ll look at the great work of Prison Mindfulness Institute (PMI). See their web site here: https://www.prisonmindfulness.org/. You’ll find a lot of helpful resources and information at this site. Their mission: “is to provide prisoners, prison staff and prison volunteers, with the most effective, evidence-based tools for rehabilitation, self-transformation, and personal & professional development. In particular, we provide and promote the use of proven effective mindfulness-based interventions (MBI’s). Our dual focus is on transforming individual lives as well as transforming the corrections system as a whole in order to mitigate its extremely destructive impact on families, communities and the overall social capital of our society.” This work has the potential to make a significant difference in the communities where individuals are incarcerated. A major tool used in prison programs led by PMI is Path of Freedom®, a mindfulness-based emotional intelligence (MBEI) model for at-risk and incarcerated youth and adult prisoners developed by Kate Crisp and Fleet Maull. Here’s a link to a video about use of this program: https://vimeo.com/46701853 If you’re interested in finding out about where programs have been offered, here’s a link to more details: https://ow.ly/R2pqJ It’s great to see how mindfulness can be used in this unique way to serve not only a population of incarcerated individuals, but also to positively impact the communities in which prisons

4 08, 2015

The Mindful Path – Mindfulness for Community Improvement

2021-05-20T17:42:09-04:00August 4th, 2015|Tags: , , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! In this post, I’d like to share information about Tamarack, a nonprofit in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada that “develops and supports learning communities that help people to collaborate, co-generate knowledge and achieve collective impact on complex community issues.” The web site is here: https://tamarackcommunity.ca Tamarack offers three learning communities: • Communities Collaborating for Impact (Leading Collaboratively) • Vibrant Communities Canada (Poverty Reduction Strategies) • Deepening Community At the main web site, you’ll find links to additional sites for each of the learning communities. There are many, fine organizations around the world providing excellent services that encourage taking mindful action. Our own Peace Learning Center serves as a wonderful example of such an organization that makes a difference in the community. No matter where you live or work, I encourage you to think of the community where you live. In the context of Tamarack’s learning communities, where might there be opportunities for you to get involved in activities to support positive action in leading collaboratively, reducing poverty, or deepening community? If you live in the greater Indianapolis area, the annual Get On Board event is coming up on October 5. What’s Get On Board? It’s an opportunity to find out about area nonprofits looking for individuals who want to serve as board members or in other volunteer capacities. If you want to find out more, please see the site here: https://ow.ly/QtSCi There are so many ways

21 07, 2015

The Mindful Path – A Special Mentoring Program

2021-05-20T17:42:10-04:00July 21st, 2015|Tags: , , , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! With our focus on mindfulness in the community this quarter, I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to tell you about Starfish Initiative, a college access and readiness program serving economically disadvantaged high school students in Marion County here in Indianapolis. The program gets its name from the “Starfish Story,” where a man slowly and carefully rescues starfish stranded on a beach by gently tossing them back into the water. The beach is covered with thousands of starfish, and a passerby remarks that the man’s efforts aren’t very meaningful. As he tosses another starfish back into the water, the man replies, “It mattered to that one.” That same mindful action taken to make a difference permeates the work of Starfish Initiative. They match college-educated mentors with academically-promising, low-income high school students. A mentor serves as a “college coach,” helping their mentee, referred to as a Scholar, to stay on track to graduate from high school and prepare for college. Many Scholars will be first-generation college graduates, and benefit from the insight and guidance that a mentor can share because they have successfully navigated their own college journey. Mentors make a two-year commitment to their Scholar. They meet twice a month, and stay in touch by calling, texting, or emailing during other weeks. Many mentors ask to remain with their Scholar through the last two years of high school to conclude the formal relationship

7 07, 2015

The Mindful Path – In the Community

2021-05-20T17:42:13-04:00July 7th, 2015|Tags: , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! In this third quarter of the year, my posts on The Mindful Path will be about mindfulness in the community. There’s a great connection between the two, when the individual practice of mindfulness, which involves attention to the current moment without judgement, is also applied broadly to our neighborhoods, communities, and society. How does this happen? One example is work performed by Peace Learning Center for Irvington Community High School to help their freshman students learn conflict resolution skills and resolve interpersonal issues. One component of this involved mindfulness exercises that helped the students better respond to stressful situations. Although this focused on school issues, the skills learned could transfer outside the educational environment, with the potential to positively impact all current and future relationships. To read more about this, click here: https://ow.ly/Pcpl0 Let’s go back to talking about us as individuals. Some people actively take advantage of ways they can be of service to others, and this can enhance the benefits of mindfulness in the community. But what if you aren’t easily able to do this? You may already be tapped out by juggling multiple jobs, by the commitment of being a care-giver for a family member with special needs, or by many other possible situations. You might not easily see opportunities for how you as an individual can mindfully impact the community. However, consider all the roles you may have: employee, child,

18 09, 2014

Race and Cultural Relations in Indianapolis

2021-05-20T17:42:40-04:00September 18th, 2014|Tags: , , , |

Last week, I had the chance to accompany Rev. Harold Good during public presentations about his life's work.   He is a Methodist leader from Northern Ireland who was a key figure in that country's peace process. During the late 1960's he lived in Indianapolis studying at Christian Theological Seminary and pastoring at Riverside Methodist.   Preaching to an all-Black congregation the Sunday after Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, he said he felt inadequate to address the audience but they convinced him otherwise through their encouragement and gentle spirits. It changed his life.   When he left Indy for Northern Ireland to pastor in inner-city Belfast, he was amazed by the hateful speech between Protestants and Catholics, and recognized similar patterns in American racial strife. He quickly realized sectarianism and racism are on either side of the same coin.   Being back in Indianapolis more than 40 years later, Rev. Good noticed an improvement in race relations in our city. He is impressed by the racial representation on our television newscasts and by how calm and easily interracial conversations take place.   Meaningful relationships between races and cultures are essential to our city's growth and survival. We must talk to each other and learn each other's narratives to learn how to work together to address our many issues. We are fortunate to have formal and informal structures in Indianapolis that work on these issues.   Since 1965, the Greater Indianapolis

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