Positive Intentions
April 2016
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 Good intentions might sound nice, but it's positive actions that matter.
- Tim Fargo-

We're nearing that time of year where we are  consistently sticking to our New Year's Resolution or we've dropped them long ago. Keeping to our positive intentions can be hard, so we're here to help with some suggestions for actions to take right now!

1. Visit our website and fill out a form to begin your volunteer journey with Peace Learning Center.

2. Donate to directly benefit the programs we do within the community. 

3.  Forward this newsletter to a friend who needs to know about the great work Peace Learning Center is doing. 

4. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instragram. "Share" and "Like" our content.
Turn your positive intentions into positive actions that will make you feel great and at the same time help Peace Learning Center!

This issue of PLC News includes:
  • Volunteer of the Month
  • Agreements for Peace
  • Love and Hope are Essential
  • Everything Begins with an Intention
  • Upcoming Events

Peace on,
Volunteer of the Month

Ashleigh is pictured here helping prepare for our Cocktails & Coloring events.
Ashleigh Orr is this month's Volunteer of the Month.  As a volunteer, Ashleigh has been a huge help in the implementation and success of Cocktails and Coloring, a Peace Learning Center fundraiser.  Jay Horan, our Director of Engagement has worked closely with Ashleigh and said,  "Ashleigh is so fun to be around!  She is always positive and willing to help in any way possible.  She has a go get em' attitude and has no problem jumping right into a project."
Thank you Ashleigh for everything you have done for our organization. We are very grateful to have you on our team!
Volunteer Opportunities  
As always, PLC volunteers are busy making a difference everyday! Thanks to all of you who've helped  support our mission to educate,  inspi re and empower people to build peaceful communities this past month.

To learn about other volunteer opportunities, contact Jay Horan  or visit peacelearningcenter.org/volunteer to complete an online volunteer application.
                         AGREEMENTS FOR PEACE                                 

 One of the practices we use to start each group is something called "Agreements for Peace." It is a simple process where a group can proactively set their own expectations. One agreement often suggested is to "assume best intentions." It has come up so many times that I began to wonder what it is about. In classrooms and workplaces, so much conflict and drama come from assumptions. It is freeing to people to be able to be part of mediation or restorative circles because they no longer have to work from assumptions. Rather, they can go straight to the truth. As I thought about the prevalence of this comment, I have come to believe that it is a coping strategy for environments that are too fast-paced for careful and thoughtful conversation. Perhaps the second best thing is to assume best intentions...but wouldn't it be better for us to find the time and strength to talk through our issues?
Every day in our work we see the power of the circle-a place where it is safe for people to talk through their problems with each other and not rely on any sort of assumptions. Just the other day, I was asked to lead a student and a teacher in a restorative circle. The student had said a few things to the teacher that were unkind and the teacher had returned the sentiment. They both knew (wisely) that a punishment wouldn't address the harm that was done. In talking together, they both realized that their assumptions were wrong. The teacher assumed that the student had it out for her and was trying to upset her. In fact, he was frustrated by the test he was taking and lost control. The student assumed that the teacher didn't care if he failed the test and that she liked to criticize him. He, too was wrong in his assumptions. She had known the student for years and knew how capable and bright he was. Seeing him get frustrated and stop trying triggered her to also lose control.
Indeed, there are usually good intentions buried deep, but often, so too is confusion and false information. Relationships between co-workers, peers, family members, and friends are delicate but they have everything to do with our quality of life in schools, workplaces, and at home. To nourish those relationships, assuming anything, positive or negative, isn't enough. Take the time to delve a little deeper. As always, we'd love to help you with the tools to make conflict work for you not against you!
We take a moment to celebrate the environment around us. This can happen as a result of an "Environmental Scavenger Hunt," creating a team built piece of artwork, or visiting our Be the Change exhibit. We stretch our senses - what do we hear, see, smell or feel? What does it remind you of? What does it mean to you? Our facility in Indianapolis' Eagle Creek Park is perfect for these types of retreats. Hardly a moment passes without a chance to encounter something beautiful and amazing.
Connections emerge between attendees and the people, organizations, and communities they serve. Often times, participants discover (or rediscover) an important and meaningful sense of shared values, vision, and mission. Teams remember they are in it together and for a good cause. Participants remember they are not alone.
We can easily create a team renewal retreat for your organization or team. Come see the "burst of leaves" and consider beginning again "with the summer." 

To learn more about youth programs, contact   Kristina Hulvershorn  or call 317.327.7144. 



Recently I spent the morning with young men from YouthBuild, a local AmeriCorps program that helps young people learn construction trades and gain their high school equivalency certification. They are recruiting right now if you know someone who would be interested.
We were interviewing young people about their experiences growing up in Indianapolis - where they saw successes and what were obstacles.  All three were in their early twenties.
A consistent theme - when they were younger they severely lacked an understanding of their options for employment beyond high school and they did not believe in themselves or their futures. 
What was missing most was someone - an older youth or adult - who was there to help guide them through - to tell them how important high school is even if you do not plan to go to college.  Songs, media, and the streets taught them a formula they thought they needed to succeed because no one else was there to steer them differently.
Most had positive comments about their teachers, but expressed frustration with big high schools where if you fall behind there seems to be no way to catch up.
When asked what adults can do, one young man said "keep smiling and being positive."  Why? He explained that many youth test adults trying to get them to lose their cool to affirm that they don't really care about them. 
This feedback parallels research about the most effective approach we can have with youth - a nurturing authoritarian.  Being positive, empathetic, and complementary while at the same time laying down principals and rules and holding youth accountable to them.
What I learned most from our young people is that love and hope are essential for positive youth development. Please get involved in the lives of youth.
Written by Tim Nation, Executive Director

Buying a birthday card, calling a friend or helping a neighbor. It all starts with an intention.  
When you wake up in the morning, do you think about a plan for your day or what goal you're going to work towards either professionally or personally?
Our intentions shape our experiences. They direct our thoughts, our actions and our perceptions. When we have positive intentions, we create positive outcomes and positivity in others around us. When we have negative intentions, we create all sorts of drama, insecurities, resentment and who knows what else we allow to seep into our lives.
What would happen if we set a positive intention every morning - even before we get out of bed? Maybe we write it down to remind ourselves of it throughout the day. Positive intentions can be anything we wish: Be kind, be peaceful, notice the beauty in nature around us, have more patience, do more, enjoy some silence, help others, compliment someone, say positive things to family, friends, co-workers, know that being imperfect is OK. This list can go on and on. You'll decide what's right for you. What if we did this every day and turned it into a daily habit? Think of the impact it could have on us and the people around us - it could actually alter our lives for the better! How amazing that would be!
Just remember the saying "Positive things happen to positive people".

Written by Lisa Jones, PLC Associate Director
Make Good Changes Happen!  

Please help us thank some of our donors this past month who are helping make peace possible! 

  • Robert Bringle
  • Matt Horan
  • Kara Monroe
  • Barbara Townsend
  • Indiana Center for Nursing
If you'd like to join them in supporting peace education, please click here to donate now! 
Project Cybersafe for Parents

WHAT:  Presented by the Marion County Prosecutor's Office 

WHEN:  Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Shortridge High School - Caleb Mills Auditorium 

Beyond You: Youth Empowerment Symposium

WHAT: A symposium for youth ages 12-18 that will help youth explore ways to become more involved in their community based on their passions, how to set goals, and create change.  Sponsored by DMHA.
WHEN:  Wednesday, April 27th from 9 am to 3 pm

WHERE: The Athenaeum, 407 E. Michigan St., Indianapolis, IN 46204
For more information about bringing youth the symposium contact Tiffany Tibbot or call 317.327.7144.

Cocktails & Coloring Series

WHAT:  Join other creatively minded community members for a unique evening inspired by the new trend of therapeutic coloring. We provide the coloring pages and colored pencils. Your admission fee covers the cost of one signature drink!

WHEN:  Tuesday, May 24 from 6 pm to 9 pm

WHERE: Hotel Tango Whiskey, located in Fountain Square at 702 Virginia Avenue
For more information about this series, please contact Tiffany Tibbot at 317.327.7144 or email of  ttibbot@peacelearningcenter.org
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