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Simulation Activity to Look at Realities of Living In Poverty

dr lolita kincadeThe SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Human Development and Family Relations will host an exercise in empathy and understanding those whose lives are impacted by poverty Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the Warren Ballrooms, Angell College Center.

Faculty, staff, students and community members are invited to participate in a poverty simulation where participants will assume a role of either someone living in poverty or a professional supporting someone who lives in poverty.

“In HDFR, it is our mission to support the well-being of individuals, families and community; we’ve made a concerted effort this past year to host events that are representative of that mission with the goal of increasing our visibility as a department,” said Dr. Lolita Kincade, associate professor and HDFR chair. “Poverty largely impacts the well-being of individuals and families.”

The poverty simulation will be an interactive immersion experience that sensitizes participants to the realities of poverty, Kincade said.

“One of the benefits of HDFR is we tend to bring hands-on proactive learning into our classrooms,” she said. As such, they decided the simulation would be of benefit for all campus constituents as well as those in the community.

“It’s an opportunity to learn about the experience (living in poverty) if you’ve never had it, or how to mitigate from a professional’s perspective and experience,” Kincade said.

Participants will:

  • Gain an increased awareness of poverty
  • Examine their own behaviors while “living” in poverty
  • Examine the challenges of living in poverty
  • Discuss opportunities to impact poverty in their communities
  • Learn about opportunities to affect change as human services, social work and counseling professionals

“We have a minimum goal of 40 participants,” Kincade said. “We’ve dedicated our class times to the event. We’d love to have as many folks as possible. It’s certainly a topic we can all benefit from engaging in.”

Volunteers who sign up will get a description of who they will “be” — a provider or someone in poverty. Held in collaboration with social work and counseling, Denise Sypek, director of the North Country Teacher Resource Center, will facilitate the participants and how they’ll navigate the simulation, Kincade said.

“My role will be to help the group process what they’ve seen and done. How are they feeling? How has their perspectives shifted? What’s the applicability of what they’ve learned?”

For more information on the poverty simulation or on how to register, email [email protected].

— By Associate Director of Communications Gerianne Downs

— Photo by Associate Director of Communications Felicia Krieg

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