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“It gets the conversation flowing. The students really took to it. They really opened up. It got deep, and when you start playing, you stop playing, almost, because you get into the conversations so much. Whenever you want to bring the truth out, this is the game to play. It just makes people closer together, like family.”
~ Archie Berwick, Volunteer, Student Venture
"For the two hours the youth played the Keep It Real game, they were free, their minds were free. They could forget they were in prison and could relate to one another. I believe this game could help to reduce violence among the adolescent population."
~ Officer Small, Riker’s Island Correctional Facility
"I've had the pleasure of working with Leslie, and the Keep it Real game for several years. Playing Keep It Real with 16 - 18-year-old inmates at Rikers Island adolescent facility was an incredible experience. Watching young men express their thoughts and feelings, coupled with the laughter and even sporadic dancing, have proven to me that this game changes lives of all ages."
~ Kian Brown, Branding & Media Consultant, The Brand Elevator
"High school students are living in a culture where communication occurs via the internet and text messaging. True and genuine communication seems rare nowadays. The Keep It Real game will challenge students to think beyond their limited experience, to dream, to joke, to laugh, to create a culture of transparency and vulnerability. This is by far the greatest strength of this game, namely transparency, for when this is accomplished, youth can be who they are; not who they think they should be. They can Keep It Real!"
~ Moses Sanchez, Youth Minister Student Venture NYC
“I am writing to endorse the Keep It Real board game. We have utilized the board game this past year in a variety of settings with teens at our Club. We have used it before or after special events/ trips as an ice breaker or group exercise for teens. We have used it in conjunction with our Smart Girls and Passport to Manhood programs, as Well as with our Keystone Club.
Even with Keystone, the game helped the teens become better connected.
The Keep it Real game is a unique communication game which has proven to be a wonderful asset to our youth programming and organization goals. l believe the Keep lt Real game will assist your staff in quickly and easily creating and facilitating positive and productive environments in their Clubs.”
David E. Anderson, Executive Director of Boys and Girls Club of Trenton and Mercer County
"At our Student Venture high school student Christian retreat, we played the Keep it Real game with 100 of our students, in place of a seminar. A lot of the students didn’t know one another, or they might go to the same school together and still didn’t know each other, or maybe didn’t like each other. Everyone had to participate and interact because it was mandatory, but then as they started they wanted to keep going – even after the session was over. They were like “Where can I get this game? It’s so cool.” They really took to it. It really gets you to the insides of peoples’ hearts and minds. It was definitely perfect for this retreat because we have a lot of tough people here, but when they saw their peers interacting and opening up, they said, alright, well maybe I can if this person did it. The students really opened up, it got deep, and when you start playing, you stop playing, almost, because you start getting into conversations so much. Also the volunteers and leaders played in our free time. The last night of the retreat, all of the volunteers and leaders stayed up from 11:00 p.m. till 3:00 a.m. laughing and playing the Keep It Real game, we didn’t want to stop. It really helped us to bond and to connect as a team of leaders. It brought everyone at the retreat much closer together, like family."
Oneka Kelly, Student Venture, NYC
“There has never been a board game like this … EVER!!! We have seen and played the games that challenge our memory, our intellect, our management skills, even our physical dexterity. But KEEP IT REAL challenges us in ways that would do far more than entertain or help to pass the time. It will stay with us in potentially life altering ways in rebuilding our perceptions of others and ourselves, while having us run a fun filled spectrum of emotions in the process. No one has ever enjoyed themselves or explored themselves this much with a board game before!”
~ Gerard Brown, Playwright/Screenwriter/Teacher
“Playing Keep It Real was a blast. It is amazing that a game that is so much fun also gets people tuned in to themselves, helps them to learn who they are and to respect diversity in others, and to connect with the other players. The Keep It Real game which focuses on self-discovery through thought provoking and stimulating questions, also helps people to acknowledge alternatives in life, to embrace the unpredictable, and teaches not to limit yourself with brittle perceptions. This game opens the heart, mind and imagination, and gets people talking and thinking about life in so many dimensions. It is awesome!”
~ Mangy-Nkoli, filmmaker – ‘Smoking Cessation’
"The Keep it Real game allowed me to search deeper within myself to find meaning in many of the things that I do. The game creatively asks the questions that most people are too intimidated to ask, boldly unmasks truths that desperately need to be revealed, and enlightens the mind. The Keep it Real game harbors a magic that changes people… and will one day change the world."
~ Whitney “Luvly Brown” Lawrence
"A safe space…at last…to finally discover things about yourself you always wanted to know, to say things you have always wanted to say, and to be who you really are! Keep It Real is a game where we discover, uncover, reveal and share. We listen, learn and grow new understandings. We open up to new places within, find answers, gain awareness, unstick ourselves and let go of old stuff. Thank you for this game."
~ MarySarah Agliotta, Therapist, Yoga Instructor
“Every card has questions that affect everyone who is playing the game; we have all been through and experienced all of these things.”
~ Matthew Armstrong-Parker, 21 years old
"Created with love... Transformed through passion... Keep It Real is an inspirational game; evoking inner peace, positive thinking and change."
~ Siobhan Pierre, Publicist
“This game gives you knowledge. Some people don’t even know it is in them, the game brings it out. I could play this game for ten hours and never get bored.”
~ David DeLaurentis, 21 years old
"Keep It Real is a game to be played by anyone, anywhere, any place, any time; it is a game that everyone needs."
~ Sherene Davis, Mother of two
"We used the Keep It Real game with our Resident Assistants during their diversity training as well as with one of the college's women leadership groups. The students loved every minute of playing the game. Based on their comments, what they liked most was the fact that they could talk about difficult topics without feeling self-conscious because everyone else who was playing had to do the same. This enabled them to build trust quickly and so answers were honest and meaningful. Since the training, some resident assistants have borrowed the games to use with their floors. I would strongly recommend this game to anyone interested in helping others to understand themselves and colleagues/ peers in fun but meaningful ways."
~ Wintlett Taylor-Browne Director of Student Services at Luther College Diversity Center, Voice, Visibility, & Leadership for Diversity
"Keep It Real was the core of our Diversity workshop for students and proved to be more engaging and impactful than any keynote speaker we have ever had. In the past, while other diversity activities have caused students to feel guilty or marginalized because of their identity, Keep It Real empowered our students to speak their truth while remaining open to the experience and the dialogue. Students repeatedly mentioned that the game provided them with the opportunity to have honest conversations with their peers in a safe environment surrounding important issues. Both the staff and students involved agreed that Keep It Real should be an aspect of new student orientation and first-year experience classes."
~ Patrick Lynn Assistant Director of Residence Life
The Towers at the City College of New York
"Working in Higher Education for over ten years I have experienced many different types of programs, games and theories on how to break down barriers in order to build community, trust, and a safe environment. The Keep It Real game is my secret weapon when it comes to preparing my students to be able to speak about personal feelings, experiences, and opinions with students they may not know. The Keep It Real game is a creative tool which allows students to connect an experience with a face, group laughter, and group support. It begins the true foundation of community, retention, and most importantly the building of new friendships and great memories that we as educators hope are long-lasting with college."
~ Mariaelena Marcano, Assistant Director of Student Affairs/Orientation Manager/ Greek Life, The City College of New York
"Keep It Real isn't just a board game -- it is a FUN, COMPASSIONATE, JAW- DROPPING and INTELLECTUAL way of life. Each space on the board represents a unique opportunity to discuss serious issues such as relationships, bullying and religion, and lighthearted ones such as pop culture, superpower wishes, and dreams. The action cards are HILARIOUS, prompting seemingly shy and ordinary people to get out of their seats and DANCE, SCREAM, TWIRL, and make NOISE. Keep It Real is perfect for students striving to discover themselves in a world brimming with diverse ideas, Keep It Real never fails to deliver an adventure in a comfortable and judge free zone. I promise you that Keep It Real will LITERALLY change your life."
Brian Kateman, Jeanette K. Watson Fellow
"The Keep It Real game is an icebreaker, and is something where you learn more about someone past what you see, past whether they are a Muslim woman, or a white man, or whether they're Jewish or whatever. Personally, I think this would be good for incoming freshmen, for people that are just coming in...And think this is something that would be a great addition to this school."
~ Ilvin Montesino, Student, City College of New York
"From start to finish, I felt like it was a really moving experience, especially because when we started off we were really uncomfortable with each other. We were not sure it was a safe place. But we grew to be comfortable with each other. And it goes to show that when you start opening up, and when you're able to talk about things...it makes the entire environment more comfortable."
~ Shanika Harris, Student, The City College of New York
"The Keep It Real game has unblocked the pathways into my student’s hearts! After two rounds of riveting questions from this game, I recognized a light shining through a window, highlighting the inner thoughts of all of the people around the table. We were riveted for hours and did not want to stop playing. If you work with high school and college-aged students, like I do, I highly recommend you invest in hosting game events with the Keep It Real game."
~ Shawn Best, Director of Residence Life, Kings College
"Learning to lead others efficiently takes a great deal of listening. Throughout playing Keep It Real people learn to listen to others while gaining the comfort and courage to speak and know that others are listening to them. This is such a great game that breaks through race, gender and religious barriers. As a student leader on my campus I am going to use this game each semester as new members join my various organizations."
~ Jonathan Vascones, CUNY Queens College Representative
“We here at Idaho State University have had the pleasure of working with Ms. Leslie Robinson, the creator of the “Keep it Real” diversity board Game, two times during her campus visits. As the Coordinator of the Diversity Resource Center at Idaho State, it is vital we have support outside the University helping us improve the environment on our diverse campus. This means providing expert assistance to our campus community when we can.
The Keep It Real game has been a big success on our campus. We have used the board game with students on all levels, include graduate students and at various programs. We use the game during staff trainings for new employees and present staff who have been here for a while. We have also used it for in our staff Professional Development Program through our Human Resource Office. In 2016, we also used the game in a Mandatory Diversity Training Program for the Pocatello Police Department and Bannock County Sheriffs.
Those who have played the game have very positive responses to it, even though sometimes it brings up past experiences and asks tough critical thinking questions. Both times Leslie has been on our campus she has worked with faculty, staff, administrators, and students. Ms. Robinson brings an element of enthusiasm through her discussions on diversity and perception of her game. It is this enthusiasm for people understanding each other which is clear in her presentation. During her first meeting on campus, she was able to get people talking about the game which has helped us here at the Center to promote it even more.
We have been very lucky to have Leslie visit our campus twice, and to help us work to improve Diversity on our campus but also, our community.
We highly recommend for any and every Diversity Program looking to improve diversity on their campus, business, or any other organization to contact Ms. Robinson. We hope to bring Leslie back to our campus in the near future. She does an excellent job.”
Ram Eddings, Coordinator of the Diversity Resource Center at Idaho State University
“I fell in love with KEEP IT REAL GAME the very first time I played it. As an adult, it helped me talk about some issues in my life that I didn’t even want to think about. As a parent, it helped me discuss subjects that I would normally be embarrassed to do with my daughter, as well as my teenage nieces and nephews. This game helps you face the person in the mirror, and also makes a way to talk about difficult issues. I recommended the KEEP IT REAL GAME to all my friends and family members, including my church family. ”
~ Maria J. Gaston, Exec. Producer/Hostess of Jarvelle Show
“My two teenage children and I enjoyed playing Keep It Real. The game opened up a dialogue that had been missing between us. We learned things about each other and how we think about situations that affect us everyday. The props in the game were fun because it brought out the humorous side of our personalities. It was fun to laugh at ourselves while stimulating our thoughts about the world we live in. I recommend Keep It Real to be played by families and friends. The game brought my family closer in ways which we often talk about in our travels.”
~ Vincent Smythe, Environmental Artist and Health Insurance Specialist