Engagement Series

The Poverty Solutions Engagement Series tackles poverty-related topics by bringing faculty, students and communities together to explore ideas, strategies and potential solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

Upcoming Events

  • Poverty Simulation (October 6-7, 2017)
  • Economic Mobility and Transportation (Spring 2018)
  • See all events

Past Events

Poverty Simulation

Poverty Solutions partnered with U-M Dearborn’s Office of Metropolitan Impact and Office of Student Success to host a poverty simulation open to all students. Developed by the Missouri Community Action Network, the poverty simulation is a robust pedagogical tool meant to give students an idea of the challenges families in poverty face daily. It is designed to give participants specific realistic barriers associated with poverty including: feeding your family, paying your bills, finding employment, and navigating many more challenges. The goal is to have students reflect and learn ways to take action, promote justice, and be an ally to those living in a real state of poverty.

The event had 80 students participate from across the schools and colleges, including LSA, the Ford School of Public Policy, the School for Environment and Sustainability, and more.The volunteers filling the roles of social service organizations came from community organizations such as the Community Action Network of Washtenaw County, The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, Food Gatherers and the Ypsilanti Health Center. Read the FAQ.

Students and faculty participate in a simulation to experience poverty and it’s effects following the lecture “Place, Poverty, and Opportunity in America”, presented by Prof. Scott Allard.

Making Housing More Affordable

The first Poverty Solutions Engagement Series session, Making Housing More Affordable, took place on April 7, 2017, at the U-M School of Social Work. It featured keynote speaker, Arthur Jemison, the director of housing and revitalization for the city of Detroit and interactive breakout sessions led by faculty and community experts discussing a variety of approaches to providing more affordable housing.

The event included breakout sessions (PDF) where attendees tackled issues related to affordable housing, including, homelessness in Washtenaw County, property tax exemption, and supportive services for low-income housing.


Keynote Address