August 2016

Back-to-School Issue
August Updates

"How do you teach peace?" I'm often asked. It first starts with a realization that we are in control of our own destiny, solely responsible for what we say and what we do. We see lights going off when young people realize this and that is when hope starts.

Here at Peace Learning Center we are proud to be winding up our Social Justice and Climate Camps plus our summer enrichment program that served 762 young people from more than 35 camps and programs throughout central Indiana including La Plaza, Coburn Place, Julian Center, Indy Parks, Brightwood, Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, Teen Works, and many others.

In partnership with The Desmond Tutu Center in Indianapolis, Peace Learning Center helped recruit and facilitate a group of nine high school and college students through an educational trip to South Africa that included visits to innovative nonprofits addressing issues of poverty, hunger, education, AIDS, and empowerment while we also had a chance to visit with Bishop Desmond Tutu. These Indy Desmond Tutu Scholars are now working on social justice service learning projects as part of their year of service.

School started and we are busy completing professional development for teachers, administrators and our volunteers while starting our in-class social and emotional skills building for preschool through high school students with our professional staff of facilitators.

In partnership with the City of Indianapolis and Indianapolis Public Schools, our One Indy program adopted four elementary schools plus Arlington and Arsenal Tech High Schools to have year-around presence in classrooms and implementing restorative justice circles as an alternative to suspensions and other punishment.

Our Community and Family Programs continue to grow. We are hosting students and faculty from Ivy Tech and Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis involved with leadership and scholarship while partnerships with OpportunIndy and Indiana Black Expo expanded family programs into Indianapolis Housing Authority neighborhoods for inter-generational workshops on peace.

How do you teach peace? One person and one moment at a time that help create safe and common ways to deal with ourselves, others and the world around us.

- Tim Nation, Executive Director

Volunteer of the Month

Ari Cruz is this month's Volunteer of the Month. Ari spent the summer as our Communications & Marketing Intern. She created our annual review, a new brochure and was incredibly helpful when it came to events. Tiffany Tibbot, Director of Operations worked closely with Ari and said, "Ari dove right in to every project we gave her and went above and beyond. She was a self-starter who needed little guidance and got things done!"
Volunteer Opportunities
As always, PLC volunteers are busy making a difference every day! Thanks to all of you who have helped support our mission to educate, inspire and empower people to build peaceful communities this past month.

To learn about other volunteer opportunities, contact Jay Horan or visit our website to complete an online volunteer application. 

Our Impact: Stories from the field
Social Justice Leadership Camp 2016 by Clare Wildhack-Nolan

This year was an amazing year in the practice of Social Justice Leadership Camp. It was our fourth year of building: curriculum building, leadership building, community building, momentum building. It was all that! The Social Justice Leadership Camp has proven we are successful in achieving our mission of developing confident and knowledgeable leaders who analyze power systems in order to build a more equitable society.

Our two-week day camp develops critical thinking, encourages personal reflection, leadership development, civic engagement, and creative problem solving; essentially, community organizing skills.

Camp covers the themes of: personal identity, power analysis, social justice and leadership, media analysis, economic justice, justice within gender and sexuality, racial justice, justice and disability rights, art and expression, and event and action planning.

The impact camp has had in our leaders' lives, over the past four years, became evident. We are seeing campers who own their leadership, with a clearer understanding of how institutional power works. It is inspiring to see them work!

Paije, who was in our first group of campers ever, stayed involved in our camp meet-ups and returned this year to participate in a second round of camp. Her ability to identify injustice and articulate the sources in institutional power that affect her life is a concrete product of her involvement in camp, she says. She uses her understanding in any atmosphere she is in: school, work, home, while watching TV, with friends.  As her awareness and confidence has grown she has taken a leadership role in her school community, especially the Youth in Action Group she leads. The year before last they went to Washington D.C. to be honored for their work. After this year's camp she plans to go back to her school and build more awareness about the challenges that immigrants face in the USA, as well as spread understanding of the multi-cultural and racial identities of the Latino community.

2016 Social Justice Leadership Camp 
Upcoming Events

Restorative Practices Workshops
What: Restorative Practices workshops are an introductory or refresher workshop to  become familiar with the basic tenents and skills associated with restorative practices. One need not attend more than one workshop. Please bring your own lunch. 

When:   Saturday, September 3, 2016 from 
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Where: Peace Learning Center, 6040 DeLong Road, Indianapolis, IN 46254

A park pass will be sent to you upon registration in order that you may enter Eagle Creek Park without paying the gate fee.

To register click here.