Did you know that Alabama is the sixth poorest state in the nation?
And that more than 800,000 of our neighbors across the state live below the federal poverty line?
On July 19, 2019, the River Region United Way, in cooperation with Alabama Possible, hosted a FREE Poverty Simulation for the purpose of raising awareness and helping others understand the facts about how poverty affects people, communities and systems of care.
- One of the best ways to understand poverty is through the perspective of those living in poverty.
- Understanding poverty requires an examination of public data and viewpoints about poverty and their connection to policy, oppression and discrimination.
- Learning about poverty can occur through volunteering, simulations and other experiential activities.
- Poverty awareness involves empathy and self-reflection.
- Poverty awareness requires individuals to recognize their own attitudes and ideologies relating to people in poverty.
- Poverty awareness includes authentically sharing one’s knowledge, perspective, and values about how to create prosperity for all.
WHAT IS IT? A Community Action Poverty Simulation is a unique, interactive experience that helps facilitate understanding of the challenges faced by individuals in our community who are living at or below the poverty level. The simulation increases participants’ understanding of hardships and the emotional toll experienced by impoverished members of society and the work it takes to achieve self-sufficiency.
WHO PARTICIPATED? This educational and professional development experience was created as a way to help business and community leaders; students, faculty and administrators; faith-based organizations; nonprofit organizations and others understand the realities of poverty. During the simulation, participants role-play the lives of families living at or below the poverty level. Participants experience typical challenges faced by individuals living in the context of constrained financial circumstances -- including maintaining employment, childcare, care of elderly family members, seeking public assistance and dealing with transportation issues.
Two sessions were held – one in the morning and one in the afternoon on Friday, July 19, 2019. Participation was limited to 80 persons and 40 volunteers in a single session. Thank you to First Baptist Church for hosting our unique and educational experience!