How To Play

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Taking up to 4 hours, YPIS changes the social justice conversation and addresses perception gaps as well as the obliviousness of privileged perspectives by taking them out of the theoretical and into the personal and actual.

Your Privilege Is Showing (YPIS) is a card game and an experience that enables participants to use real world examples of bias as catalyst for self and community change. The simulation takes present day examples of sexism, racism, heterosexism, misogyny, ableism, as well as other types of bias stemming from 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.


This simulation encourages students who may feel afraid they are going to “say the wrong thing” by creating space where examination can occur without “feeling guilty”. It also has a mechanism built in that uses active bystander training to help participants develop ways to interrupt injustice in their daily lives. Participants will get to practice talking about the ways that they are personally affected by sexism, racism and privilege, leading to deeper conversations and understanding.

Front /back of sexism cards

Front/back of race cards

Front/back of privilege cards

The game's structure operates on a difficulty ramp:

Round one focuses on identifying and naming social justice issues. Players draw scenario cards from the deck and are asked to 1) categorize them as an instance of either racism, sexism, or privilege; and 2) assign the scenario one of with three different levels of overtness and impact ranging from mild to extreme: white card, yellow card, and red card.

Sample Scenarios are:

  • In 2016, when Cam Newton, a (black) quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, visibly celebrated a string of touchdowns on the field by “dabbing”, he was called a “classless gansta thug” on twitter.

  • In 2016, during a conversation in the Utah State House about proposing a bill renaming Columbus Day after Indigenous people in an effort “to recognize the genocide the explorer brought to the native people”, State Senator Todd Weiler, objected to the name change because he said that “the native population gave the early explorers syphilis, which they brought back to Europe.”

  • A guy says to a woman that her “being a lesbian is a huge turn off for guys” and she'll “never find a boyfriend”.

Round two asks participants to recognize racism, sexism, and privilege in their own lives. After drawing a card that lists a privilege category and levels of overtness, players are asked to talk about an instance of that type of privilege. 

Sample instances are:

  • Can you think of something in your life experience, something you have seen, done, thought of, said, or heard someone else say that matches a yellow race card?

  • Can you think of something in your life experience, something you have seen, done, thought of, said, or heard someone else say that matches a white privilege card?

  • Can you think of something in your life experience, something you have seen, done, thought of, said, or heard someone else say that matches a red sexism card?

Round three asks participants to discuss a controversial social justice topic. Players draw a topic card, speak about the topic for two minutes, and then critically reflect with their peers on the perspective they just shared and what social justice nuances are at play.

Sample Subjects are:

  • Why is there a stigma around social safety net programs? Please talk about who deserves to be helped and who doesn’t and how the concept of “the deserving poor” hurts people.

  • Sex education in high schools in the United States, if it exists at all, doesn’t teach about the female orgasm. Why is that and what does its omission tell us about the way female pleasure is seen and taught?

  • In 2013, Megan Kelly, a tv show host on Fox News, made news on her program by assuring kids that Santa is “NOT black. He’s white. He just is.” Why did it matter so much to her what skin tone, Santa, a make believe character, is? What is so threatening about a black Santa? What does that say about the power of representation?

Learning Outcomes:

  • Participants will learn how to recognize and name social injustice.
  • Participants will be more aware of their own gaps and biases.
  • Participants will get practice working through the discomfort of talking about their own culpability with white supremacy, patriarchy and other forms of bias based on privilege.
  • Participants will  better understand intersectionality.
  • Participants will be aware of the ways in which each of us are ignorant and how social justice and injustice impacts all of our daily lives.