Critical Conversation Pre-Con: Poverty Simulation

Kristie Jerde, Assistant Director of Residence Life, North Dakota State University

February 28, 2017

What is it like to live in poverty? This is the question the 2016 ACUI award winning program tries to answer. As the Critical Conversation Conference draws near, our conference committee wanted to highlight this opportunity for students, faculty and staff to participate in the very impactful and educational program. The objective of this simulation is to sensitize participates to day to day realities of life faced by people of low incomes and motivate participates to become involved in activities which help to reduce poverty in this country.

During the simulation, participants role-play the lives of low-income families, from single parents caring for their children to senior citizens trying to maintain self-sufficiency on Social Security. The task of each family is to provide food, shelter, and other basic necessities while interacting with various community resources such as a pawn shop, community action agency, community health agency, and much more.  

Did you know?

As of 2015, the US Census Bureau reported that 43.1 million people live in poverty. The poverty guidelines of 2017 state that a family of four with an income of $24,600, a family of five with an income of $28,780 and a family of six with an income of $32,960 or less live at the poverty line. This means that 13.5% of all Americans live in poverty.

What a past participates has said:

As one participant noted, “The simulation made me realize that living in poverty is very stressful. I only had to experience this for about two hours and by the second week, I was ready to give up. We had $10, no job, were losing our house, the pawn shop wouldn’t buy anything from us, and social services were taking to too long to get any money. It is hard to think that our 15 minutes is a normal day for someone in poverty."

How to register

Registration information can be found here. Please noted that space is limited and is filling fast.

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