Participants in a Poverty Simulation

The Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) at the University of Central Arkansas partnered with the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas State University – Newport to host a poverty simulation for community leaders in Jackson County and the surrounding region.

The simulation was held on Friday, March 1 at ASUN’s Student Center. Over 80 local leaders participated in the simulation.

The poverty simulation is an experiential setting that allows participants to view poverty from different angles. The simulation is intended to move participants to think about the harsh realities of poverty and to talk about how communities can address the problem. This exercise is a unique, interactive experience that helps people begin to understand what life is like with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress. Through this simulation, participants will better understand the realities of poverty that affect individuals and families throughout our communities.

“We are fortunate for the opportunity for community leaders to participate in the poverty simulation,” said Director of the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce Julie Allen. “It was a very humbling experience that will allow all of us to better address issues surrounding poverty within our own community.”

“Arkansas State University – Newport greatly appreciates UCA for being able to bring this simulation to Jackson County and our service area. This simulation gave ASUN staff, faculty and community members the opportunity to experience what life is like for those that are less fortunate in our area,” said Vice Chancellor for Economic Workforce and Development at Arkansas State University – Newport Jeff Bookout.

“Our staff was glad to be able to partner with the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce and ASUN to host a poverty simulation,” said Managing Director of the Center for Community and Economic Development Shelby Fiegel. “By participating in the simulation, participants better understand what individuals in poverty are going through so that they can identify and improve ways to serve their needs. We hope it was an eye-opening experience for everyone who participated.”

In August 2018, participants in the 32nd annual Community Development Institute were given the opportunity to apply for several technical assistance services available through CCED. These technical assistance services are part of CCED’s effort to connect with communities across Arkansas to grow local economies and enhance quality of life. Services include poverty simulations, community planning simulations, regional training events, community-based planning, walk audits and nonprofit capacity building. Newport applied and was selected to host a poverty simulation through this competitive process.

The Center for Community and Economic Development’s mission is to have a positive impact on communities by equipping leaders with economic tools and resources, building consensus to achieve community goals and bringing UCA resources and communities together. CCED envisions communities across Arkansas and the country with robust economies, a flourishing quality of life and diverse and engaged citizen leaders. CCED provides customized training and technical assistance to communities and their leaders. Learn more at uca.edu/cced.

For more information about the CCED, visit: uca.edu/cced or call Shelby Fiegel at (501) 450-5269.