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Malone University student organization be:justice and Social Work Club plan poverty simulation

October 25, 2013 | Release # 6756

The Malone University student organization be:justice is collaborating with the University's Social Work Club to participate in a poverty simulation the evening of Tuesday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Brehme Conference Center, located on the campus at 2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W. in Canton. The activity is planned in conjunction with the campus-wide reading of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

The poverty simulation is a 50-minute event in which participants come into a room and are asked to role-play a life of "the working poor" in Canton, Ohio who are living at or below the poverty line, from single parents trying to care for their children, to senior citizens trying to maintain their self sufficiency on Social Security, to 18-year-olds aging out of the foster care system with nowhere to go. The task of each individual (or created family for students working in pairs) is to figure out how to obtain food, housing, transportation, utility, childcare, and other basic necessities with (Monopoly) money provided while interacting with various community resources staffed by volunteers. Although students use "play" money, the event is based on facts of what it is like to live in poverty in Canton.

In preparation, students researched housing prices on craigslist.com and The Repository; the amount of money participants receive for their character will be true to what someone in Canton would receive.

Speaking will be Corey Easterday, a 2011 Malone University alumnus and founder of the area's Laundry Love project – a volunteer organization that reached out to the less fortunate with laundry assistance.

According to event planners, "Events like this raise awareness by offering students a tiny taste of what it might look like to survive a complex and challenging system with limited resources... to walk in someone else's shoes for just a few minutes. There are a number of students at Malone University who have experienced this kind of poverty as well. Students who grew up in the foster care system. Students whose parents have divorced or lost their jobs or were injured or received government assistance to make ends meet.

While we all daydream about what it might be like to be wealthy – fancy cars, mansions, massages, fantastic vacations – few of us spend much time imagining what it might be like to be poor. Experiences like this help us to 'go there' for just a few minutes, to enable us to view poverty from different angles in an experiential environment. Ultimately, we hope that students would gain more compassion – and to begin dreaming of ways in which they might create solutions to the problems that poverty creates right now, right here in Canton, Ohio."

For more information about Malone University's social work program, please click here.

Malone University, a Christian university for the arts, sciences, and professions in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 100 academic programs. Malone has been recognized by the prestigious Templeton Foundation as a leader in character development, as one of Northeast Ohio’s Top Workplaces by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and is ranked among the top colleges and universities in the Midwest under the category Regional Universities according to U.S.News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2014,has been awarded the designation Military Friendly School by Victory Media, and is named to AffordableCollegesOnline (ACO)’s Best Lifetime Return on Investment list for the State of Ohio.


Suzanne Thomas, APR
Director of University Relations
Malone University
2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W., Canton, OH, 44709
fgubznf+znybar+rqh Phone: 330-471-8239
Cell: 330-324-2424

Categories: events