Playing Your Hand

Identity Card Activity

The word trump is a corruption of a 17th century card game called triumph. In triumph, trump cards temporarily outranked other cards and the trump suit was selected at random by cutting the deck. Selecting the right suit to match one’s hand was an advantage in the game so “coming up trumps” became synonymous with success.

Our personal identity is comprised of a unique combination of social group affiliations including race or ethnicity, age or generation, gender identity and expression, class, disability, spirituality or religion, sexual identity and political beliefs. And like a card game, many of these affiliations are assigned to us randomly. The identity cards provide participants with an opportunity to imagine their multiple identities as their “hand” in a card game, allowing us to discuss how our individual affiliations impact “game play,” or our ability to be successful.

The identity cards are a tool that may be used to explore our multiple identities. I use this resource in workshops to engage  participants to become more aware of who they are and who they may be perceived to be by others. By personalizing the cards to represent our own social group memberships, we end up with a “hand” of identities that, together, represent our identity. Manipulation of this hand can also bring dynamics of power, privilege and oppression to the surface.

If you would like to use these resources, you can download the facilitator’s guide and the ID cards template to the left. The card template is designed for use with Avery® Printable Business Cards. Please be sure to download the appropriate version for the size stock you will use: Avery® 5871 – 8.5 “x 11” Letter-size stock (USA) or Avery® C32026 – A4 stock (Europe). If you have any questions about the cards or how to use them, please contact me using the form below.

Facilitator Videos

Prepare to facilitate this activity by reviewing these videos. Many thanks to members of the Longmont Multicultural Action Committee for their participation in this video workshop.

Introduction to Identity Cards

If you’d like to learn more about how I can support your efforts to “hit pause” and stay engaged in dialogue, I’d be very happy to discuss how we can change the world together. Please complete this form and I’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.


5527 N Valentia Street,
Denver, CO 80238, USA




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Thank you so much for your interest in the Identity Card Activity. Make sure to bookmark this page so you can get back here anytime.