Kay Tawney "About 8 years ago, I retired from the healthcare field. My time is spent reading, gardening, travelling, and enjoying the birds who come to my feeders. In this time of conflict in our country and in the world, PLC's mission as a catalyst for peace, equity and justice is severely needed. I am proud to do my part in small ways that help administration contribute to that cause. It's been wonderful to watch spring unfold at Eagle Creek." Kay, Peace Learning Center thanks you for helping us strive towards our mission.
Meet Robin G. Jackson, M.A. Please provide 2-3 sentences about yourself (where you work/go to school, hobbies) I am a Doctoral Candidate in Urban Education Studies, in the IUPUI School of Education. I am also a Doctoral Research Assistant at the Midwest & Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP Center). My current hobbies include binging true crime/horror shows, documentaries, and podcasts. You know. To relax. What is it about PLC’s work that appeals to you? My own work with the MAP Center involves assisting in providing technical assistance to state and local education agencies across a 13-state region—which encompasses guiding our partners through developing antiracist and anti-oppressive practices to better serve all students, but minoritized students in particular. PLC’s work is in this wheelhouse, which is what drew me in. I appreciate the ongoing work PLC is willing to do to ensure they are honoring its vision of becoming an anti-racist organization. Anti-racism is a journey, not a destination. I believe this sentiment is understood, lessons are learned and internalized, and the discomfort is welcomed. What kind of work are you doing with PLC? I have been a board member since Spring 2019. I bring with me criticality and a repository of equity-centered resources—both that have been afforded to me through my Doctoral training, in conjunction with an immersion in scholarship and technical assistance at the MAP Center. Can you tell us a memorable experience or something you have learned
Meet Vicki Rubio I've lived in Indianapolis for about 14 years and really appreciate the community I've built here. I work for Citizen University as a Program Manager. I get joy out of reading, exploring, and gardening, particularly with native plants. What is it about PLC's work that appeals to you? One of the things that drew me to PLC was the internal work the organization has and continues to undertake to implement anti-racist practices and policies. That internal work is so important for an organization that is working with schools and other community members and groups to advance equity and justice. What kind of work do you do with PLC? I'm currently serving as secretary of the board and also serve on the finance committee. In these roles, I support planning for our monthly board meetings and help provide financial oversight. Can you tell us a memorable experience or something you have learned during your time at PLC? I have learned about the impact that restorative justice and social-emotional learning practices can have in schools. Teachers are building critical skills for engaging with students through PLC workshops. Students are learning about how to manage conflict effectively and how to build a better classroom community with their peers. This work is so vital to building a stronger, more peaceful Indianapolis.
Meet Margie Worrell I currently work at United Way of Central Indiana as the Senior Manager of Basic Needs. Much of my day-to-day work is around a program that provides free volunteer tax assistance to families in our area. It is very rewarding work where I get to be around very caring people! My hobbies include hiking, hanging out with my two kids and my dog, and working in my yard - I love to be outdoors! What is it about PLC's work that appeals to you? I think what appeals to me most is the way that PLC works to help people understand how to be connected to others in a peaceful and respectful way. Being a former first grade teacher, I have seen how young children are often able to act with compassion and love; and when they fall short of that, they are able to understand correction and alter their behavior. I am not sure why so many people seem to forget this skill as they grow older. I believe that if we can teach our young people how to act lovingly toward one another, they can change the world. And if we can teach their parents as well, we can make that change even more rapidly. THAT is what I see PLC doing for our community...teaching this lesson to both young and old(er) people! What kind of work do you do with PLC? I am
Meet Maria Wiley, MBA, CFE. I am the Senior Director for Audit, Risk Management, and Procurement for the Indianapolis Airport Authority where I have been working for over 20 years. One of my other duties is being the ADA Coordinator for the airport, where I was able to lead the project to construct 2 Sensory Rooms that are designed for those passengers and guests that have emotional challenges such as Autism, PTSD, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s. During the 2020 pandemic I kept myself busy by completing my MBA through Indiana Wesleyan University. What is it about PLC's work that appeals to you? I continue to be amazed by the impact that the PLC staff is making in our public school systems. The testimonials from parents, students, and teachers confirms the increasing need for the services PLC provides. What kind of work do you do with PLC? Currently, I am on the Engagement Committee and one of our goals for this year is to bring more awareness to PLC and build name and brand recognition. We have also been busy planning the year-long PLC 25th Anniversary celebration. Can you tell us a memorable experience or something you have learned during your time at PLC? After joining the Board, I engaged the PLC staff to provide some team-building sessions for my employees in Eagle Creek park. We all agreed that it heightened our social awareness, and it was a day filled with
Meet George Okantey I am the president and principal consultant at GOT Performance Solutions LLC., a credentialed talent development consulting practice that focuses on experiential learning, empowerment, and transformation. We help individuals, teams, and organizations identify, surface, and resolve perceived or imagined difficulties productively and respectfully. I am an Indiana University Public Affairs graduate and Association for Talent Development Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD). I retired from Purdue University Extension after twenty-one years of service to launch my consulting practice. My customer segments include small businesses, community development agencies, HBCU's, government and nonprofit agencies. I love to travel, explore, and discover. The last two years have not been that great for travel, so I have taken to walking, listening to audiobooks and favorite podcasts like Brene Brown's "Dare to Lead" and Sam Harris' "Making Sense." I am married and have two adult children and three grandchildren. What is it about PLC's work that appeals to you? I believe that life is worthwhile when there is friendship and harmony with everyone. These foundational human needs are interrupted by inequities, misunderstanding, disrespect, violence, hostility, and conflict. PLC focuses on teaching behavior constrain skills that help people relate and understand more, create psychological safety, and resolve disputes safely and respectfully. This work is challenging and appealing because of my life experience and as a true Libra dedicated to freedom, fairness, and justice. What kind of work do you do with PLC?
Meet Jessica Brand Indiana resident for more than 25 years. Married to Scott and have three children, Natalie, 22, Lilah, 20, and Earl, 15. I left the corporate world 12 years ago when our son was diagnosed with autism to be his full-time advocate. I now do some marketing, consulting, and event planning from my home office. I belong to several arts and education organizations where I can practice my passion for community service and outreach. What is it about PLC's work that appeals to you? I love PLC because of our commitment to teach kindness through peace, equity, and justice. There is nothing better than working alongside like-minded people all with this most important focus. What kind of work do you do with PLC? This is my second year serving on the board at PLC and I have enjoyed working with staff to see that the PLC mission can be brought to as many people as possible. Can you tell us a memorable experience or something you have learned during your time at PLC? When you may have lost confidence in humanity, know that there are some amazing people working diligently every day, with laser focus, to make this world a more peaceful and equitable place. Those folks are at PLC and I am grateful for each and every one.
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:
Meet Madeline Mason I am a Social Emotional Learning Coach and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion facilitator. Middle school is my specialty and my favorite! I am also a Ph.D. student in IUPUI's Urban Education Studies program. I spend most of my time with my husband and our 15-year-old pug Carl Jones. What is it about PLC's work that appeals to you? I love the intersection of academics, social emotional learning, and anti-racism in the work of PLC. I also love their strengths regarding Restorative Justice. What kind of work do you do with PLC? I have worked with PLC pretty much since Day 1 of my education career 11 years ago. From bringing restorative practices and implicit bias work to a handful of different schools I have worked to do peer mentoring work directly with my students. PLC is special to me because we have always been partners! I also volunteer co-facilitating implicit bias workshops and serve as a board member. Can you tell us a memorable experience or something you have learned during your time at PLC? I partnered with PLC back in 2017, and we led a very special class I was teaching called Student Voices through peer mentoring training. Not only was the day in itself amazing as we hiked, connected, and learned together, but watching my students then come back to our school (shout out to Harshman middle school in IPS!) and lead their peers
Meet Jeff Howell I moved to the eastside of Indianapolis 7 years ago to work alongside others on social justice issues in an urban environment. I am a Real Estate Broker and a property manager. I enjoy spending time with friends, bicycling, and nature. What is it about PLC's work that appeals to you? The work that PLC does appeals to me because it humanizes all people, and works towards conciliation and peace. What kind of work do you do with PLC? I help facilitate conversations on Implicit Bias. Can you tell us a memorable experience or something you have learned during your time at PLC? Working with the diverse group of facilitators at PLC has been a great blessing. I get to know my co-facilitators more personally and learn how to better 'ebb and flow' with our different personalities in facilitating together.