Data

General Issues
Education
Human Rights & Civil Rights
Specific Topics
Alternative Education
Collections
UA Clinton School of Public Service Students
Location
Little Rock
Arkansas
United States
Scope of Influence
City/Town
Links
http://undergroundescape.org/
https://www.facebook.com/undergroundescapeLR/
Start Date
Ongoing
Yes
Time Limited or Repeated?
Repeated over time
Purpose/Goal
Develop the civic capacities of individuals, communities, and/or civil society organizations
Approach
Citizenship building
Spectrum of Public Participation
Inform
Open to All or Limited to Some?
mixed
Targeted Demographics
Students
General Types of Methods
Experiential and immersive education
Deliberative and dialogic process
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Inform, educate and/or raise awareness
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Pop-up
Civic Education
Legality
Yes
Facilitators
No
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Face-to-Face
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Informal Social Activities
Information & Learning Resources
Not Relevant to this Type of Initiative
Type of Organizer/Manager
Local Government
Individual
Staff
No
Volunteers
No
Formal Evaluation
No

CASE

Give Us the Ballot Room by Underground Escape

December 9, 2019 08:08   (UTC +00:00) Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
December 9, 2019 08:08   (UTC +00:00) Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
December 9, 2019 08:08   (UTC +00:00) Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
December 9, 2019 08:08   (UTC +00:00) Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
November 22, 2019 04:04   (UTC +00:00) legalinformatics03
June 3, 2019 15:03   (UTC +00:00) Scott Fletcher, Participedia Team
June 3, 2019 15:03   (UTC +00:00) Scott Fletcher, Participedia Team
June 3, 2019 15:03   (UTC +00:00) Scott Fletcher, Participedia Team
May 31, 2019 17:05   (UTC +00:00) Scott Fletcher, Participedia Team
May 31, 2019 17:05   (UTC +00:00) Scott Fletcher, Participedia Team
May 30, 2019 18:06   (UTC +00:00) richards1000_new
March 7, 2019 03:03   (UTC +00:00) Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
January 24, 2019 20:08   (UTC +00:00) richards1000_new
January 24, 2019 20:08   (UTC +00:00) richards1000_new
January 24, 2019 19:07   (UTC +00:00) richards1000_new
General Issues
Education
Human Rights & Civil Rights
Specific Topics
Alternative Education
Collections
UA Clinton School of Public Service Students
Location
Little Rock
Arkansas
United States
Scope of Influence
City/Town
Links
http://undergroundescape.org/
https://www.facebook.com/undergroundescapeLR/
Start Date
Ongoing
Yes
Time Limited or Repeated?
Repeated over time
Purpose/Goal
Develop the civic capacities of individuals, communities, and/or civil society organizations
Approach
Citizenship building
Spectrum of Public Participation
Inform
Open to All or Limited to Some?
mixed
Targeted Demographics
Students
General Types of Methods
Experiential and immersive education
Deliberative and dialogic process
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Inform, educate and/or raise awareness
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Pop-up
Civic Education
Legality
Yes
Facilitators
No
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Face-to-Face
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Informal Social Activities
Information & Learning Resources
Not Relevant to this Type of Initiative
Type of Organizer/Manager
Local Government
Individual
Staff
No
Volunteers
No
Formal Evaluation
No
The following entry is incomplete. You can help Participedia by adding to it. click for more info

In Little Rock, a unique escape room set in the 1950s Deep South of the United States, where Jim Crow laws run rampant, invites ordinary people to cast their ballot despite facing obstacles. It is intended to provide immersive civic education for participants.

Problems and Purpose

Younger generations have been increasingly less likely to head out to the polls during election seasons and exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot. A group of public servants in Little Rock, Arkansas, are working to change that through an unlikely combination of education, social justice, and a stimulating escape room.

Background History and Context

City of Little Rock coworkers Ericka Benedicto and Juanenna Williams started Underground Escape together after identifying a need in their community.

Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities 

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Participant Recruitment and Selection

The participant recruitment process most likely consists of a combination of targeted recruitment and self-selected recruitment. Students from local schools are a targeted population for this activity while it is also open to members of the community who read about it online or hear about it from others and decide to sign themselves up for the experience.

Methods and Tools Used

The "Give Us the Ballot" room is an escape room. An escape room is a type of game in which participants enter a space, and are asked “to solve a series of puzzles” in order to exit the space (Friedrich et al., 2018, p. 1). Before the escape room had its own permanent space, it was able to be transported to different locations, such as different schools around the Little Rock area. They recently got their own brick and mortar location that is able to be in a more neutral environment, away from institutions that could be seen as pushing an agenda, and thus would be considered a pop-up method (Benedicto & Williams, personal communication, 2018). The "Give Us the Ballot" room is also considered a “serious game,” defined as a game that engages people on current societal issues that foster a more just society (Lerner, 2014, p. 35). The room is run as an hour-long experience followed by a 15-minute discussion lead by a facilitator who guides participants on a reflection of their experience and connects it to a broader learning.

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

Participants have to make decisions as they go through the escape room and are debriefed afterward to have they reflect on their experience.

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

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Analysis and Lessons Learned

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See Also

References

Friedrich, C., Teaford, H., Taubenhiem, A., Boland, P., & Sick, B. (2018). Escaping the professional silo: An escape room implemented in an interprofessional education curriculum. Journal of Interprofessional Care. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/13561820.2018.1538941

Lerner, J. (2014). Making democracy fun: How game design can empower citizens and transform politics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

External Links

Underground Escape. (n.d.) Retrieved October 18, 2018 from the Underground Escape website: http://undergroundescape.org/ 

Underground Escape. (n.d.) Retrieved October 18, 2018 from the Underground Escape Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/undergroundescapeLR/ 

Notes

The first version of this case entry was written by Samantha Sheffield, a Master of Public Service candidate at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, and then edited. The views expressed in the entry are those of the authors, editors, or cited sources, and are not necessarily those of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.