The fundamental philosophy of Your Privilege Is Showing 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 still, we don’t talk about them. These games (Your Privilege Is Showing LIVE! and YPIS AT HOME!) provide the holding container for direct, and personal conversations to happen. Different perspectives can be shared in a Brave Space environment; 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. Your Privilege Is Showing LIVE! 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.
Your Privilege Is Showing LIVE! has been to Harvard Graduate School of Ed, Geffen Academy at UCLA, Berklee College of Music, MIT Media Lab, SXSWedu (2017 and 2018), Brooklyn Public Library, 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.
“Your Privilege is Showing is a unique opportunity to examine your understanding of privilege in a bounded, safe space that promotes interactive learning. When I played the game, I found myself much more aware of the limitations of my thinking, as well as of some of the ways that I might be unintentionally creating and/or perpetuating tensions and imbalances in my daily life. It is refreshing and challenging to have the conversations that Your Privilege is Showing requires you to have. And when the game is over, the real work is just beginning. Thanks to Lillian Medville for developing and facilitating this process and for making me think.”
— Rhoda Bernard, Ed.D. Managing Director Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs
“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. ”