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Civic engagement in Criminal Justice Sciences 102

Honors students from CJS 102 presented their civic engagement simulations on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Dawn Beichner’s honors students in Criminal Justice Sciences (CJS) 102 spent the Spring 2018 semester completing a civic engagement project for YWCA McLean County’s Stepping Stones.

Stepping Stones, a sexual assault program that provides 24-hour assistance for sexual assault survivors, is part of YWCA McLean County’s Prevention and Empowerment Services. Students in this course selected a form of oppression and worked in teams to create separate simulation activities on their individual topics. The simulations are designed to help educate the community on what it is like for survivors of discrimination and their loved ones.

Students created simulations on homophobia, past incarceration, racism, sexism, mental health, ageism, education bias, immigration, military veteran status, homelessness, ableism, and classism. Every simulation includes five distinct fictional characters, each of whom have experienced an incident of discrimination.

The simulation is designed as a “choose your own adventure,” in which participants are assigned to the role of one of the fictional survivors or a support person. The person designated as the survivor must make a variety of difficult decisions following their victimization, including decisions whether to report the incident to law enforcement, tell family and friends, or seek counseling. Those in the role of loved one must support the survivor without influencing the survivor’s decisions.

The CJS 102 honor students presented their simulations to the YWCA Stepping Stones staff during class on April 24. The YWCA staff plan to use the simulations in their educational outreach in McLean County and beyond.


For more information about the civic engagement project please contact Dawn Beichner.