In the summer of 2018, members of the Alexandra House Youth Leadership Institute set out on their own mission to help end domestic and sexual violence. Participants took a closer look at gender-based violence, privilege and oppression, and learned advocacy skills. Using this new knowledge, the group developed an engaging tool to help address risk factors they saw in their community that lead to domestic and sexual violence.
The result was Soup Talk, a game intended to spark conversations about healthy relationships between teens and adults and make the topic of domestic and sexual violence more approachable. Players must answer questions to earn ingredients- the four categories of questions range from light-hearted “broth” questions (such as, name a TV show where characters play stereotypical gender roles,) to slightly more substantial “vegetable” and “grain” questions (when faced with a problem, how do you like to be supported?) to much meatier “protein” questions (what kind of effect does experiencing violence in past relationships have on future relationships?) Different recipes will call for different amounts of each ingredient, but each player must earn the appropriate number of ingredients for their recipes, whether it’s a meaty gumbo or a brothy bowl of Pho. Players may opt out of answering a question by choosing a “seasoning” card instead, which provide facts and statistics. Each bowl of soup needs some seasoning, but players shouldn’t over season the soup!
Alexandra House has made the game available to anyone who wants to print it and cook up their own conversations. Included in the instructions are some tips for adults looking to have meaningful conversations with their teenagers, as written by Institute members.