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
by Frankie Keesee, Field Trip Coordinator & Spanish Specialist Participating in the trip to Jamaica this past January was both personally and professionally fulfilling. My grandmother was a proud Jamaican woman, born and raised in Lucea, Jamaica. I was able to travel to Jamaica with her, visit her hometown, and learn how to cook her favorite dishes before she passed away in 2015. Since her passing, I have been exploring ways to honor her and our Caribbean heritage, and I’m so grateful to Peace Learning Center for giving me a new way to connect with her and the island. Tim, Tiffany, Natalie, and I stayed in Jamaica for one week in January. The members of the Rotary Club of Sav-La-Mar (Savannah-La-Mar) were excellent hosts. We stayed with Illinois and Indiana Rotarians in a beautiful home in Whitehouse, Jamaica, we had our own quiet beach, and we were well fed and cared for by wonderful Jamaican women, Fine and Carlene. I could not have imagined a better place to work! The 3-day workshop was truly inspiring. Based on my experience, the conversations I’ve had with Natalie and Tiffany, and the testimony I’ve heard from the participants, I believe the workshop was a powerful event for everyone. The days were long, but profound. The first day was focused on self-reflection; the participants were able to reflect on their own conflict resolution styles and explore their implicit biases. The second day was
What an exciting day! We just received some of our freshly designed Everyday Circle cards and we can’t wait to share them with the world! They are a brand new tool to help teachers who want to do this work but don't know where to start. We have partnered with two other incredible organizations: Tribes and HEART to create Everyday Circles for teachers to implement SEL, restorative practices, humane education, and more. There are 180 cards in the deck and each card has everything you need to lead your group through these processes, including images, prompts, and directions for interactive fun. We have had this vision for quite a long time and the stars finally aligned for us to make this happen! We have long thought that the actual work we do isn’t all that complicated but the support that you need to begin and maintain it, often is. Usually, this is a function of the need to change our mindset and learn new ideas incrementally to have time to actually implement and adjust. All of this requires a lot of teacher training…a luxury many schools and teachers do not have. So, without a lot of access to teachers, we thought, how can they learn how to do the work at the same time as they are doing it? That is exactly what these cards are designed to do. If teachers can make a bit of time and commit
by Mame Keita I did not know what I signed up for when I agreed to co-lead with Arianna, one of our amazing interns, a workshop on “Empower for Change” for Girls Rock. Girls Rock is a pretty amazing organization that works with girls age 9 to 16 and empowers them through music. I was super excited to meet all these young girls willing and ready to be leaders in their lives and their communities. Our objective was to help them figure out how to use music or creative expression to tackle issues they were passionate about. We started by gathering everyone in a circle, shared names and favorite artist and played an icebreaker. The campers had fun getting to know each other better and discovering commonalities and differences. Our next step was to brainstorm and share our thoughts on values and on their importance identifying them to be able to create change. The conversations got deeper and more personal. One camper shared kindness was her top value because everyone was so valuable. They had a lot of strong values ranging from family, love, equality, acceptance, kindness and of course, music. With those values firmly in place, we then asked them to think about a problem they would like to tackle. Their awareness and understanding of all societal issues were impressive. They mentioned gun violence, sexual assault, wage inequality, gender inequality and challenging school environment with the new changes
#GivingTuesday #PeacePals #UNSelfie Get your #PeacePals to join you for #GivingTuesday to support Peace Learning Center! You've probably heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but have you heard of the BEST Thanksgiving spending tradition...#GivingTuesday? It's a global movement that unites the world for good. Every dollar donated through our #GivingTuesday campaign helps us bring more life-changing peace education to children, youth, and families in Greater Indianapolis. Share your best #UNSelfie with your #PeacePals and encourage others to give while having some fun! With your help, we'll be able to raise $5,000 between Dec. 1 - Dec. 7 which means we can provide comprehensive peace education for 25 more children next year. How can you help? Click here to donate today - Anything you can give matters! Create your own fundraising goal and campaign by clicking here. Then, spread the word on social media, through email, or at the office to ask your #PeacePals to join you in making a difference this holiday season. Here are a few messages you can use to spread the word: Join me and my #PeacePals by donating to my #GivingTuesday campaign to support Peace Learning Center! Take your own #UnSelfie today with your #PeacePals after you donate to my #GivingTuesday campaign to support more peace in Indy! #PeacePals make the world a better place! @Peacelearning #UnSelfie #GivingTuesday Thank you for being a person who values peace and diversity. At times like these, our world
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.
Enjoy pizza while supporting a good cause – the PLC Peace Crew! Please bring a copy of the event flyer (see link below) on Thursday, 4/16 from 5-8 pm so that 20% of your purchase can be used to benefit PLC! Blaze Pizza prices are very affordable and they offer vegan and gluten free options as well. All pizzas are personal sized 11” pizzas that are prepared to order in less than 5 minutes. https://www.blazepizza.com/ PLEASE NOTE: YOU MUST present a copy of the flyer (download a pdf copy via the link below) to the cashier before paying or we will not receive 20%!!! https://peacelearningcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Blaze-Pizza-FUNDRAISING-FLYER-IUPUI.pdf
Thanks to our partnership with the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, we had excellent media coverage of our presentation Tuesday, February 10th at the Regional Operations Center. OneIndy targets 9 elementary schools and 6 high schools in the six focus neighborhoods identified by DPS as places where you are six hundred percent more likely to be a victim of crime. Four youth from our programs at John Marshall High School and Crispus Attucks High School delivered powerful messages for our community. From the IndyStar's Robert King: Groves, a 16-year-old student at John Marshall, said the pressures he and other teen boys face — "to do a certain thing, to act a certain way" — are hard to resist. Don't do those things and others can make you feel "lame," he said. He's managed the feat through his volunteering with the Peace Learning Center, but it hasn't been easy. "Bascially," he said, "you're scared to be different." Check-out the excellent media coverage we received: Indy Star: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2015/02/10/deadly-year-children- Channel 13 News WTHR: indianapolis/23176265/https://www.wthr.com/story/28075841/dps-teaches-children-about-conflict-resolution-stopping-crime-when-young RTV Channel 6 news - The Indy Channel: https://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/oneindy-program-aims-to-stop-youth-violence More financial support is needed to make our One Indy project a reality. Please click here to donate today!
Thanks to a grant from the Rotary Foundation of Indianapolis, students and staff at Indianapolis Public Schools #93, and our fantastic Youth Development program team, we were able to achieve the following fantastic results during this year's Peace School program... 278 students were served during the fall/winter program at George H. Fisher School #93 Evaluation results (Through teacher and student observations) 80% of students served are able to deal with conflict peacefully - even when someone has made them mad and 91% of students reported they learned new skills that have helped them to be more peaceful. 91% of students reported they learned new skills that have made them more empathetic. 95% of students are able to articulate both a sense of purpose about their future and tangible ways that they can get themselves to their goals. The principal told us that last year there were fights “daily” and that “this year there have only been 2.” What have you learned from PLC that is important to your life? (Quotes from students) “The peace group taught me that I’m very smart and that I will succeed in my life. I love you people.” “I learned to stop bullying” (spelled “I lerd to sopt bolen”) “I choose to be calm and peaceful so I can be a better person.” “I learned to breathe when I’m mad.” “I learned to not fight back and handle it in a better way.” “Don’t
By Tim Nation - PLC Executive Director and Co-Founder "Many people come to our school and give presentations on bullying, but really all of them fail to scratch the surface of the problems. They all have the same talk, 'Bullying is not ok, bullying hurts, bullying is bad.' It's like a broken record. It's because they aren't like you, they are afraid to talk about the real world, they sugarcoat stories of pain and suffering, and they only pluck the leaves of the bullying tree. Without people like you and the Peace Learning Center, the leaves would continue to grow back fuller and stronger every year." I took this from a letter written by an 8th grader who participated in one of our PLC workshops. A stack of forty letters with similar sentiments from other students touched me deeply because they understood what Peace Learning Center does - we strive to build relationships that help us ask deep and thoughtful questions for rich and life-changing dialogue. With this student and his classmates, we explored the root causes of violence while learning peacemaking strategies. Our facilitators often hear from high school students who say, "All the time I've been in school, no one has asked me what I think." Education is not just math and English - it is our ability to think for ourselves and ask for what we need while building positive relationships. Many people ask me to describe