Debrief Module

[Cover Page with Logo, pictures of actual Debrief sessions, and more here]

Table of Contents:


CultureBridge Mission: Through participation in an interactive simulation, we promote a greater understanding of the immigrant experience to inspire the people of Tulsa to empathize with immigrants and to unite against cultural and political barriers.

Purpose: To ensure, through reflection, that participants use the lessons of the simulation to empathize with the immigrant community and create positive, lasting initiative.


  1. All misunderstandings about the message of the simulation are clarified.
  2. Participants have had the opportunity to focus on serious reflection regarding their experiences and emotions during the simulation.
  3. Participants empathize with immigrants in their communities and feel motivated to help them.
  4. Participants are given a concrete path forward towards future involvement in their immigrant community.

Methods: See below.

Introduction to the Debrief

The Importance of Debriefing

The Debrief is undoubtedly the most important part of the simulation. This is a time where participants are able to reflect on their experience and express their emotions throughout the simulation. The debrief will leave participants with a better outlook on immigrants and help them better empathize with them for the rest of their lives.

The Role of the Facilitator

Your role as a facilitator will mainly be focused on guiding the small group discussion and clearing up any misunderstandings participants had during the simulation. You are also responsible for helping them fully understand the importance of the simulation. To start, you should make the speaking environment as welcoming as possible. You want all of your participants to be engaged in the discussion and to feel comfortable with sharing their thoughts. This will yield the most impactful and productive conversations. As with many discussions, it is inevitable that it will go off on tangents at times, an imminent one being politically driven; your job is to bring the group’s focus back to the simulation. Regardless of what topic your group may stray to, you should be prepared to quickly divert from it and reiterate how this is a time for reflection only. After the Debrief, participants should leave with a fresh perspective on immigrants in Tulsa. Their experience with CultureBridge Tulsa will be something they will remember for years to come, so it’s important that the Debrief is effective.

The Debrief

Organizing The Participants

Following the end of the simulation, you will split the participants into small groups for The Debrief. The maximum number of groups you will have is dependent on the number of facilitators present (e.g. a simulation run by three facilitators can have a maximum of three small groups). However, each small group should have at least seven participants in order to generate the most effective discussions. For example, if there are fourteen participants and three facilitators, it would be best to separate into two groups of seven rather than two groups of five and one group of four.

How to Organize into Debrief Groups

The Debrief Groups are different from the Home groups in order to allow people to discuss their character with an intentionally diverse group, and because many people who finish early already discuss in their Home groups about their experience.

There are always 5 characters used, but when there are 25 participants or more, there are 6 characters used. The following chart dictates the number of break-out debrief groups according to the amount of people going through the simulation.

17 people or less ——–> 3 groups

18+ people ——–> 4 groups

The Debriefing groups should be preset before the simulation begins as soon as the number of participants is known. The facilitators who are preparing the simulation should take out the appropriate number of name tags, and assign a debrief group by writing the Group number on the back of the name tag with a Dry Erase Marker.

It is important to ensure that there are not more than two of the same character in one debrief group in order to ensure the diversity of perspective. At the same time, it is extremely important to have two of the same character (but no more than two) at a debrief table as they will have different lanyard colors which will contribute to the discussion of symbolism in the simulation. This provides a good segue for discussing the purpose of the lanyard colors and how even though people can have the same situation and choices before them in life, the judgements and biases that people put on them can seriously affect the way they go through life.


After separating the participants into different groups, the facilitators will then introduce themselves. You will thank the participants for participating in the simulation and afterwards, you will introduce yourselves to the groups you are facilitating. Once introductions are done, you can then immediately move forward to the discussion.


The Debrief discussion is arguably the most important part of the simulation. During this time, participants are given the freedom to express their emotions, feelings, and thoughts about what they have experienced. As a facilitator, you should consider yourself a guide as opposed to an instructor. Below are some guiding questions for how to develop and encourage discussion. However, the path your Debrief group follows might be different than what is envisioned below. Refer to the above section on “The Role of the Facilitator” for best practices in how to guide conversation, keep on-topic, and avoid contentious issues.

Please note: any quoted statements of what to say are here as examples. Feel free to modify them to better suit your own simulation’s purpose.

The What

To start, we will discuss what happened. This includes the experiences they went through, the emotions they are feeling, and their initial thoughts.


Start off by saying… “You guys just completed the immigration simulation and may be feeling many different things. We are going to start the debrief by [separating into your small groups and][1] discussing your thoughts and emotions.”


First, ask everyone to go around and say one word that describes their simulation experience, and why.

Then, connect similar emotions and feelings and ask some respondents why they said that word. (in big group)

The Story and Experience

Ask participants to describe their character, their experience, and their outcome. Choose participants who went through different characters to allow other participants to hear different aspects of the immigrant experience and make them more aware. (in small groups)


After participants share the story they walked through, allow two people with the same character (but different lanyard color) to compare their experience. Ask them how they were treated by volunteers at the stations, and elaborate on any differences. Explain that the color of the lanyard dictates the manner in which volunteers are supposed to treat them. Those with blue lanyards experience the worst forms of racism, rudeness and other microaggressions, along with unnecessarily long waits at stations. They are essentially deemed as the lowest priority. The pink lanyards are in the middle ground, and will have some microaggressions, but on a minor level. Finally, the yellow lanyards should be treated with respect, and have the opportunity to take pride and share about their country of origin. The impact of this is that oftentimes people will make judgments about you based off of something meaningless like the color of a lanyard.

The So What

After the discussion of what they just went through, you will then give the participants reasons why it was important and why it matters.


Start off by saying “Now that you guys discussed your characters and your experience, we will discuss why this all matters and why it is important.”


Ask them questions such as “why does empathy for immigrants matter?”, “what would it be like without immigrants?”, and “what do you believe the main reasons why we had this simulation?”


“So what comes next? How do we think we can help immigrants in our own communities?”

After this discussion concludes, move directly into the Call to Action.

Call to Action

It is important for participants to have the resources in order to help immigrants. After group discussions are over, you will then give every participant an action packet filled with organizations in Tulsa which help immigrants. You will inform the participants of what is the action packet and what is on there along with the importance of these organizations saying “These organizations have contributed to the welfare of immigrants and has put tons of support for the immigrant community, if you are looking for a way to help immigrants than helping these organizations would contribute a lot.”

The Pitch

The pitch is the section where you can promote your organization and it does not have a set outline to this. You can discuss this among your organization and talk about how your social media, goals, and any other topic you would like the participants to know.

Here is the Link to the Action Packet

Conclusion of the Simulation

  • Give participants the Initial Participant Follow-up Form via link.

Ideal Time Interval

  • Thirty Minutes total:
  • First priority is to have all participants discuss their experience

    in the simulation and have them relate this to their own lives.

Debrief Facilitator Cheat Sheet

[1] If there are multiple Debrief Groups. See “Organizing the Participants” above.