It started out as a joke. As a silly way to call out different forms of privilege. But quickly evolved into a new structured way to confront the social divides of sexism, racism and privilege that already exist in each of us. 


“I wanted to be having these conversations. I just didn't know how.”

— Lillian medville, FOUNDER

Watch the video of Lillian Medville speaking at TEDxBeaconStreet about why she created Your Privilege Is Showing.

If we can't talk about the way the world around us enforces and reinforces systems of oppression, we can't even begin to understand our part in them.

Your Privilege Is Showing is an interactive diversity workshop in a game format that creates a safe framework for participants to have open and personal conversations about privilege and oppression. Led by a trained facilitator, YPIS challenges its participants to let their thinking evolve about the ways in which they have participated and still participate in systems of oppression. This game based approach empowers players to show vulnerability and grace when engaging with large and complex societal issues, and helps players navigate the inevitable shame that arises when we consider our own culpability in systems of oppression.

While there is a way to win the game, even in winning, YPIS makes it clear that one does not win at social justice. The best that one can do is continue to engage, while forgiving themselves and others for their mistakes. Participants can be open to the idea that they may be wrong and that their perspectives are not the only perspectives that need to be considered. They can recognize that the way to dismantle systemic oppression starts with recognizing how it exists in each of us.

YPIS takes present day examples of sexism, racism, heterosexism, misogyny, ableism, as well as other forms of privilege, and asks participants to identify what kinds of bias are in operation and how to interrupt that behavior. The simulation also has mechanisms built in to discuss other participant’s choices, and disagreements.  


The Mission

The fundamental philosophy of YPIS is that systems of oppression (sexism, racism, privilege, ableism, classism, among others) are both personal and universal. We have all, no matter who we are, internalized and participated in these systems, and are hurt by them in some way. And we don’t talk about them. The game provides a structure for these conversations to happen.  Different perspectives can be shared in a safe environment and vulnerability and honesty can be rewarded.

By creating a structured approach of empathetic discourse to talk about racism, sexism, and privilege, the game draws upon the value of real-life experiences in order to enhance social justice literacy. YPIS provides players with a social structure they don't normally have, so they can talk about issues they don't normally talk about while being challenged to understand what they may be missing. The participants get the chance to practice and navigate discussing their personal experience with privilege, racism, white supremacy, white privilege, sexism, homophobia, classism, ableism and misogyny. 

The conversation is the point.

How To Play→




I've brought YPIS to Harvard Graduate School of EdGeffen Academy at UCLA, Berklee College of Music, MIT Game Lab, SXSWedu (2017 and 2018), a well known search engine company in Mountain View, CA, and The Humanist Hub at Harvard, and seen significant change happen for the majority of participants. Participants leave with a increased sense of community, awareness and new skills to better recognize and name different kinds of oppression. Many of them express relief after the program because, finally, they got to have the conversations they have been wanting to have but didn't know how to begin.

I learned that people can have conversations about controversial issues about which people may disagree and not get angry or heated.
I learned a new perspective on how to process my privilege.
I hold my participation in this pilot program as one of the most formative experiences I have had at Berklee. It’s not a training or an information session, it is an immersive and challenging exercise in examining how privilege, racism, and sexism manifest around us and in us.
 Speaking at TEDxBeaconStreet 2017 photo credit:  Dave Rezendes

Speaking at TEDxBeaconStreet 2017 photo credit: Dave Rezendes

Bring YPIS To Your Organization

There is a need for more opportunities where participants can go into a room and deal with their internalized racism, sexism and privilege in a facilitated and encouraging way. If you want to have honest and personal conversations about privilege and are tired of trainings that talk at you instead of engaging with you. Bring YPIS to your school or organization.

Your Privilege Is Showing helps to meet federal guidelines around gender related violence prevention, and bias related violence prevention. YPIS offers a facilitated space for students to dissect what they know, how they know it, and why it matters. Bring YPIS to your school or organization.

"We must remove our mask to call attention to white advantage. That may help us understand one another a bit better. It may bridge divides, disrupt assumptions and stereotypes that block empathy and get in the way of serious efforts to achieve our country. As it stands, we don’t really talk frankly about race. And too many people are too damn scared to say so." 

-Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. In DEMOCRACY IN BLACK