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Students, Faculty & Staff, Alumni

Immersive Simulated Experience (ISE) Events

January 10, 2024

student reading

Upcoming ISE Events

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s advocacy work around poverty issues, the School of Social Work, in partnership with Champaign-Urbana Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, is hosting an Immersive Simulated Experience (“ISE” previously referred to as a “Poverty Simulation”). The goal of the immersive experience is to promote poverty awareness, increase understanding, and inspire local change by sensitizing participants to the realities of poverty.

2024 Immersive Simulated Experience: Poverty Is Not An Accident

(In-person event)

Friday, January 26, 2024
Time: 1:00-3:30 PM
Location: School of Social Work Room 2015, 1010 West Nevada

Step into the shoes of individuals facing adversity with an immersive experience featuring community vendors representing service agencies. Student participants will be organized into diverse “families,” each grappling with unique challenges such as housing insecurity, unemployment, disability, or single parenthood.

Over four fast-paced 15-minute “weeks,” participants will engage in daily tasks to meet necessities and secure shelter. The simulation, lasting 1.5 to 2 hours, includes a thoughtful introduction, the immersive exercise, and a debriefing session where insights are shared.


ISE Conversations & Coffee/Tea

Session 1: Perspectives Unveiled
Thursday, February 1, 2024

Participants will engage in a reflective dialogue following the Immersive Simulated Experience, providing a space to share their thoughts and feelings.
Time: 6:00-7:00 PM
Location: Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St.
Robeson Pavilion Rm A

Session 2: Building Bridges for Change
Thursday, February 8, 2024

In this forward-looking dialogue, participants will collaboratively explore potential avenues for change within themselves and their local communities.
Time: 6:00-7:00 PM
Location: Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St.
Robeson Pavilion Rm C


Virtual Immersive Simulated Experience and Conversation

Presented by Jenny Nicholson, the creator of SPENT (a virtual ISE)

Friday, February 2, 2024
Time: 1:00-3:00 PM
A Zoom link will be sent after registration

Join us for a one-hour virtual immersive simulated experience followed by a one-hour discussion with Jenny Nicholson. 2.0 FREE CEUs available for LCSW/LSW and LCPC/LPC. A Zoom link will be sent to the email you register with the week before the event. Please note that you must complete and pass a post-test prior to receiving your CEU certificate.

Jenny is the founder/creator of SPENT, a game that challenges players to survive 30 days on the edge of homelessness. SPENT has been played more than 18 million times, in over 100 countries. The game has been used in schools of social work across the country, as an empathy-building tool for Fortune 500 companies, and has been the subject of several academic publications.


Poverty Is Not An Accident T-Shirts

The Champaign-Urbana Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is selling commemorative “Poverty Is Not An Accident” t-shirts to support a local organization that is dedicated to assisting the homeless population. See the design and place your order by Monday, January 22nd. All orders can be picked up from me at the School of Social Work on Friday, January 26 by noon.

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