Diaspora

UGA graduate's card game was inspired by her experiences as a Black college student – Online Athens

When Lizz Rene first set foot on the University of Georgia campus in 2009, she knew she wanted to be there.
Despite an awareness that she was part of the 8% who constituted the school’s Black student population at the time, Rene felt like she had stepped into one of the colleges she’d seen in the movies and on television.
Inspired by her experiences as an undergrad and as an alumna, Rene has created PO’ UP!, a card game about Black collegiate life at HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities) and PWIs (predominantly white institutions). The game launched in late 2020 and is currently available for purchase via Rene’s website at poupcards.com.
Photo gallery:First day of fall 2022 classes at UGA
For subscribers:Solar panels added to restaurateur’s vision for Triangle Plaza
Originally from Connecticut, Rene graduated from UGA in 2013 with degrees in international affairs and public relations. As the daughter of Haitian and Jamaican immigrants, Rene was the first college graduate in her family, but not the first to start their own business.
“My oldest sister has been a hairstylist since she was 16, and I think I took her entrepreneurship for granted because it wasn’t as glamorous as owning a product or building a tech company,” Rene told the Banner-Herald. “As I stepped into entrepreneurship a year and a half ago, I realized that my family had more of an influence on me than I knew.”
Rene was a resident at Brumby Hall for three of the four years she attended UGA, and part of her responsibility as a C.L.A.S.S. Advocate (CA) was to build relationships with more than 50 freshmen and entice them to come out to student programs. As an icebreaker, Rene used note cards to write down questions related to resident life.
After graduation, Rene continued to use the cards at gatherings with her fellow alumni that had attended UGA, with questions like “Do you remember Buddha Bar?” and “Where did you find food at 1 a.m. when the dining hall was closed?” For Rene, the game was a means to translate the feeling of connection between HBCU and PWI students and alumni, and it lead to hours of conversation.
“There were moments (at UGA) where I felt like I was the only person in my class who reflected my life experiences, and there were times where I felt underrepresented, unheard and unseen,” said Rene. “At the same time, I think when you’re a minority on campus, there is a community that is built with other Black students who feel a similar way.”
During the civil unrest and protests that took place in the summer of 2020 in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Rene was stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic and became motivated to create something positive and celebratory. Encouraged by a friend and empowered by the concept of Black joy as a form of resistance, Rene launched PO’ UP!, named after a celebratory expression used by the Black community when an individual has achieved a milestone.
Created as a party game for 2 or more players, PO’ UP! cards are divided into nine categories such as College Broke, Just Sang, and The Great Debate. Though the game doesn’t necessarily have to be played by people who are drinking alcohol, there are BLKOUT cards that prompt each player to take a drink and Water Break cards to remind the players to stay hydrated.
Rene is currently developing versions of PO’ UP! that center on communal activities like family reunions and is in touch with Avid Bookshop about making the game available in their retail space. When asked about how her family and friends have responded to her business venture, Rene described them as “unapologetically supportive.”
“It has been a very ‘full circle’ moment because my family coming from Jamaica and Haiti didn’t necessarily go to college, but they can still play the game,” said Rene.
For additional information and to purchase the PO’ UP! card game, visit poupcards.com.

source

What's your reaction?

Excited
0
Happy
0
In Love
0
Not Sure
0
Silly
0

You may also like

More in:Diaspora

Comments are closed.