Mission: Nestled in the woods of Eagle Creek Park, the Peace Learning Center provides a natural setting for students to explore how to positively deal with conflict.
Conceived in February 1997, the Peace Learning Center is truly a community collaborative effort. Developed with the assistance of the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Alternative Education Department, AmeriCorps, and many other community supporters.
Thousands have participated in conflict resolution training at the Peace Learning Center, and many are involved in school-based peer mediation programs.
Results: PLC has partnered with Indiana University’s Center for Urban and Multicultural Education to evaluate our program effectiveness. In addition, Peers Making Peace (PMP), the peer mediation program we utilize, is the only conflict resolution program in the nation to be recognized as an evidence-based program by the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and the Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Peace Learning Center is the only organization certified to train students as PMP mediators in Indiana.
You can learn more about the results of programs on our website at: http://peacelearningcenter.org/what-we-do/why-plc/research/
Target demographics: educate, inspire, and empower people to live peacefully
Direct beneficiaries per year: 10,000 people of all ages
Geographic areas served: Indianapolis and Central indiana
Programs: Conducted peace education programming consisting of full-day curriculum in conflict management, diversity and environmental appreciation aimed at youth in grades three through six. Activities include nature hikes, interactive theater, and introduction of peace mentors. Peace education programming was provided to approximately 10,000 students in the year ended july 31, 2013.
conducted peace training services including workshops and seminars to share best practices in conflict resolution and classroom management. Programs are designed to "train the trainer" so that conflict management skills are modeled and initiated by youth service workers including teachers. In addition, during the year ended july 31, 2013, a seminar on bullying was presented to provide education and discussion to the participants throughout the area.
conducted peace training services for the department of corrections on conflict management skills. Training was contracted and provided to the indiana department of corrections.
Peace Learning Center is a wonderful resource for Indianapolis area teachers and community organizations. As campus minister at Providence Cristo Rey High School (2007-2012) I annually engaged a team of PLC facilitators to guide the freshman retreat. During the course of the day, the PLC leaders taught the PCR students principles of Conflict Resolution, team building processes, and communication skills for responding to others nonviolently. I always scheduled the retreat during the first month of the school year. I was always pleased to observe the students applying what they learned at the retreat as they met daily challenges. More recently, I have been volunteering as a facilitator with the Focus 2020 process. This is a well-conceived four phase project designed to generate a "grass roots" driven strategic plan to improve the quality of life for all who live and work in the greater Marion County area. The process begins with a listening session in which groups of residents (often intergenerational in make-up) talk about their current view of where the community is, then dream a vision for the future together before getting practical about what it will take to stimulate change. Participants then can choose from a variety of skill-building sessions, and engage with their peers in larger gatherings called Chatauquas. Those who complete the prerequisite hours then can apply for seed grants to help them initiate community improvement efforts. In each session that I have participated, I have been energized by the creativity and imagination, the commitment and determination of the attendees. As this process continues to unfold, I am sure we will see a number of wonderful projects unfold that will bring new vitality to Indianapolis neighborhoods. In addition to these efforts, I am grateful to the Peace Learning Center for sponsoring and co-sponsoring community-wide events like the annual MLK Jr. Day that enable me and others to broader our horizons as I have heard speakers who give me a window into the experience of racism and human rights violations in other parts of the world. I encourage all to visit the PLC website often PeaceLearningCenter.org to keep up to date on the variety of events they offer.
Peace Learning Center (PLC) has made peace education come alive for me! As an intern in communications and development, I have been able to work on projects that help me understand the myriad ways that PLC staff teach conflict resolution and promote diversity in both youth and adult organizations in the Indianapolis community. I highly recommend that others contribute to this organization.