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
by Clare Wildhack-Nolan, Director of Social Justice Leadership Camp For the past 5 years, March has been the exciting time of year where I begin sharing with the community the opportunity for Indy teens to participate in Social Justice Leadership Camp. It feels amazing to be able to offer teens the kind of experience that I wished I had had when I was their age. As a teenager in Indianapolis, who already had strong values around human rights and the environment, I was in a constant state of learning and critically analyzing the hypocrisy I felt the adult world dished out. My identity and search for friendships and mentors was tied to my desire to address the pain in the world. Unfortunately, there was not a lot to choose from. Indianapolis was very segregated then as it is now, and I only knew the opportunity my small section offered, and only had those conversations with my classmates and a close knit group of friends. It would have been amazing to have a diverse group of teens from across the city to meet with and hear their perspectives. It would have been amazing to connect with adults who could listen and understand, and encourage me, complicating and connecting the information and experience I was grappling with. In those formative years, it would have been amazing to connect with people who I wouldn't have met any other way, and become a
Angie’s List is our Volunteer Organization of the Month. Angie’s List members spent a full Friday working with youth from a local elementary school. After being trained in peace education lessons the volunteers mentored students as they went through rotations. The volunteers were welcoming and friendly. It was clear that they cared about the youth and were happy to be spending their time with them. Many of the volunteers said they couldn’t wait to come back! Angie’s List, thank you for everything you have done for our organization. We are very grateful to have you on our team!
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
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
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
Peace Learning Center is excited to be 1 of 64 nonprofits chosen from 281 to take part in the 2016 Brackets for Good in Indianapolis! Last night we were so excited to be at the pep rally that was sponsored by Celadon. Brackets for Good allows nonprofit organizations to compete in a March Madness style bracket competition to out fundraise their opponents.If you are interested in learning more about Brackets for Good, visit their website here. The first round begins on Friday, February 26th. Tip off is at 8:00 p.m. and the competition begins! Round 1: The ball is in our court until 7:59:59 p.m. on Friday, March 4th when the first round closes. We need YOU on our team! How can you be a part of Team PLC during the Brackets for Good challenge? 1. Score Peace Learning Center points by donating directly through the Brackets for Good website. You can set up a profile through their website that will allow you to easily donate when the clock is running down. This is an absolutely secure website so no concerns about your credit card information being stolen. Remember, the only way we move on is to win the bracket and only donations through the official website count! For every dollar given, Team PLC scores! 1 point = $1 2. Sink those buzzer beaters! When you go to donate directly through the Brackets for Good website you will be given the option to make your donation a "buzzer beater." These shots, like in basketball, can make or break a game. When
Our work at John Marshall High School and several other Indianapolis Public Schools and successful partnership with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was featured recently in several news stories. We are very proud of the youth we work with who give us inspiration that peace is possible as they work to create an even better future for their schools, families and communities. 3/18/15 - Peace Learning Center offers teens help - WISH-TV Channel 8 News 3/17/15 - IMPD teaches students about making good choices - RTV Channel 6 News More support for our work is always needed. Please consider making a financial donation to support our new One Indy initiative. Click here to learn more.
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
Thanks to the Rotary Foundation of Indianapolis' generosity, we have been able to implement a full peace school program model at IPS George Fisher Elementary School #93! This video highlights a few of the program goals and provides an overview of what we have been able to do thanks to their support.