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Inequality and poverty simulation sheds light on Nashville’s poverty problem

The inequality and poverty simulation put on by Belmont’s social work students Friday pointed out the growing problem of poverty in Nashville.

Roughly 17 percent of Nashville residents live in poverty, according to a 2016 city census referenced by the event speakers.

In an attempt to shed light on this, the social work students created a convocation event to help demonstrate the correlation between privilege and poverty.

At the beginning of the event, each student was given a slip of paper containing an identity card. They then had to respond to questions about privilege and socio-economic status.

Based on the card’s information, students walked either forward or backward throughout the course of the event.

The goal of the event was to convey the shocking amount of inequality existing in America today.

By the end of the simulation, half the participants stood in the front of the room — after taking the most steps forward — as a representation of those with the most privileges in America.

The other half the participants stood in the back — after taking the most steps backward — to represent those with the least privileges.

Only one person stood in the middle of the room to represent the diminishing middle class.

Freshman Meghan Barron said the simulation was interesting and eye opening.

“I realized I had all of these advantages that I’ve been taking for granted,” she said.

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This article written by Carolyn Connolly. Photo by Meghan Barron. 

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