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Core Five: The Game!

Instructions – Core Five: The Game!

It’s the holidays and you’re at the dinner table with your family. After a few minutes of eating, laughing, and friendly dinner chatter, the conversation shifts into an area that many of us have grown to know all too well – one that is uncomfortable. How many of you know what I’m talking about? Of course – all of you! Don’t you wish you could have these conversations in a manner that allowed for vulnerability and transparency but, you know, in a more controlled way? Well look no further! Try your hand at Core Five: The Game! 


Core Five: The Game! builds off of the existing model created by Dr. Sherard A. Robbins, Founder of Visceral Change, and brings each element of the Core Five Components to Social Justice right into the palm of your hands! With over 370 cards to choose from, this one-of-a-kind game is designed to answer the question, “How do we have the conversation?” by offering a vulnerable yet transformative way for groups that are looking to grow together in their knowledge and explorations of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice to engage in the conversation.  


How to Play

  1. Play time for this game should be up to 1 hour. (Use your phone or another device to set the timer!). However, you can end this game whenever you’d like!

  2. First, hand each player 10 Affirmation cards

  3. Next, shuffle each Core Five category card thoroughly within their own pile. Once shuffled, carefully return each card to their respective pile, placed face down with the back (yellow side) of the card facing up.

  4. Identify a player to go first. Moving to the left, each player takes a turn rolling the die.

  5. Five sides of the die correspond with one of the five Core Five category cards (P&P – A&A). The sixth side is marked by the words “Core Five.” If the die lands on “Core Five,” the player can select a Core Five card of their choosing to play/respond to.

    • If the game die is missing, please use a regular die as follows… Side:

      • 1 = P&P, 2 = I&I, 3 = SS, 4 = CC, 5 = A&A, 6 = Core Five

  6. Whatever side/category the die lands on, that player must pull the top card from the corresponding Core Five category card pile (P&P – A&A)

  7. Each category’s card pile is comprised of four different card types which consist of a mix of questions (Q), words (W), phrases (P), and fill-in-the-blanks (FITB) that the active player must read aloud and respond to.

  8. After a player plays their card/takes their turn, their turn ends and the next player goes.


Response Expectations

Each card type (Q, W, P, FITB) contains a set of inherent questions or statements for the active player to respond to. The expectation is that every player’s response is thoughtful, complete, and as detailed as possible when responding to the card. A player’s response can be supported by a personal story or grounded in facts, theory, research…; or it can be an objective narrative supported by theories or hypotheticals – it’s really up to you how you wish to respond within the confines of the expectations (there are no wrong answers)! Please see below for each card type’s inherent question:

  • Word (W) – “What comes to mind for you when you see/hear this word as it relates to its Core Five category?” “What does this word mean to you in relation to its Core Five category?”

  • Question (Q) – Please read the question on the card and respond to it.

  • Phrase (P) - “What comes to mind for you when you read/hear this phrase as it relates to its Core Five category?” “What does this phrase mean to you in relation to its Core Five Category card?”

  • Fill-In-The-Blank (FITB) (See below for instructions)



For this card type, players are asked to reimagine the famous adage as it pertains to the Core Five category card. Inside the box are the unredacted FITB adages and their appropriate category cards for players to reference. For example:

Category Card: Power & Privilege

FITB: “Many Hands Make_______”

Unredacted Answer: Many Hands Make Light Work

Player Response: “Many Hands Make Less Work” …and then share why you made this change as it pertains to its category card.

Player Affirmation Cards

After a player takes their turn and before the next player rolls the die to play their card, the resting players can choose to use one of their Player Affirmation cards. Affirmation cards are cards that are used by the other players in the game as a way to offer the player who just went as a token of acknowledgement or appreciation. This is a gesture offered from a listening player to the responding player if it was felt that the response was moving, powerful, impactful, or resonating; or just to show appreciation for one’s willingness to share. Each player gets 10 Affirmation cards to use at any time during the game, however, it is not required that players use these during the game as they are completely optional.

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