About S.P.A.R.K.

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 5.13.00 PM
S.P.A.R.K.  is more than a game. It's a life-changing experience

S.P.A.R.K. is an interactive card game that facilitates a fun, community-building experience.


The game sparks meaningful connections and conversations, and allows communities to unleash their potential to work together and build trust.


With all the division in the world, Rachel (the Founder), and Lia (her partner), believe that--with exposure to multiple perspectives--our hearts and minds expand, and the world becomes a better place. One conversation at a time.


They know from personal experience (and deeply believe) that when we have an invitation to share stories and listen differently to one another, we gain empathy for one another and have a raised awareness of how our identities impact our experience in the world.


S.P.A.R.K. aims to do just that: to bring both depth and lightness to the "living rooms" of the world, so people can talk about what matters most. The game fosters conversations about our multilayered identities, joys, inspirations, and struggles--in a fun and engaging way.



As you'll notice in the free downloadable PDF, the types of cards vary significantly, and therefore the types of conversations-sparked will vary. Some examples of kindling (red) cards are:

  • _____ brings me joy
  • When things get hard, _____ keeps me motivated
  • The title of my first album will be...
  • I will always fight for...
  • My secret power is...
  • That one time everything changed was like...

The fuel (orange) cards are offered by all igniters (and complete the blank). Here are some examples:

  • a wave crashing over me
  • a campfire
  • a live studio audience
  • simple pleasures
  • the beat of a drum
  • a new puppy

The flame (yellow) cards can be pulled by players at anytime if they don't have any fuel cards that resonate. They range from quotes to images and provide more open-ended space for reflecting.


More on S.P.A.R.K....



For centuries, our ancestors sat in community by the fire to break-bread, share stories, and solve problems. Fires have played a very significant role in the development of humanity, across all religions and regions. The presence of fire ignites something unique in communities, and that's what this game intends to do as well.


The agreements offered are truly the secret sauce of the transformative experience.

We also uphold "Vegas Rules," meaning whatever's said in the circle, stays in the circle. 


The reason we offer them is because having structure and light boundaries, especially when we're sharing stories with strangers, helps remove some of the unease that can sometimes come with connecting.

Also, the S.P.A.R.K. experience is designed to normalize unfiltered, honest and authentic reflections. We also assume that your thoughts may shift (or your answer may change) in 5 minutes...and that's okay.


The guiding principles of S.P.A.R.K. are:

  • to incorporate customer feedback,
  • to stay open to new possibilities emerging with each version,
  • to celebrate our power-players (& spotlight stories from the field)
  • to bring joy and love to this work
  • to build connections and collaborate with others


We love hearing from you. S.P.A.R.K. continues to get better because of our community's feedback, and ideas. Join our Facebook Group here.

About The S.P.A.R.K. Team



“Rachel is a force to be reckoned with. Her determination to bring peace and clarity to her environment, team and the world as a whole is something I deeply admire about her. She's a leader that you'll want to follow for sure.”

—Maru Iabichela, CEO and Founder at MARU Internacional

Meet Rachel, the Founder and Creator of all things S.P.A.R.K.

She is a coach and facilitator. With a Masters from Stanford, and extensive training in leadership, coaching, team development, and facilitation, her work is grounded in theory and practice.


Rachel created SPARK! For Humanity, the game where everyone belongs, because she sees a need for it. SPARK! For Humanity serves to facilitate three things that Rachel cares deeply about: building empathy with others, raising-awareness of how one's’ identity impacts their experience in the world, and slowing down to connect in meaningful ways.


Rachel has gained perspective from her experiences working as a teacher, school leader, leadership coach and facilitator in Oakland. Her relentless optimism and laser-focus on justice and equity have always been what fuel her. In her experience as a coach, Rachel has seen the culture of teams transform with the right structures, systems, and relationships. The insights she gained over the past ten years, and her personal experience being in a same-sex, interracial relationship, created the foundation upon which SPARK! For Humanity was built.

Featured in These Podcasts:



Meet Lia Shepherd, our Chief Motivation Officer & Innovation Director


Lia is a masterful motivator, an inspirational speaker, and the co-facilitator and co-creator of our S.P.A.R.K. Brunch Series.


By day, Lia is the Founding Dean of Students at a new school in Oakland During. She's also a masterful MC and Spoken Word artist in her spare time. She is the love of Rachel's life and one of the driving motivations behind everything that S.P.A.R.K. represents. 


Meet Justice Castañeda, our Chief Expansion Officer & Content Development Director


By day, Justice is the Executive Director of Common Wealth in Madison, Wisconsin. After hours (and always) he's an educator, poet, and activist. The S.P.A.R.K. team is better and stronger because of his leadership, as he brings a blend of qualifications, experience, and a life story that embodies or values, mission, and vision.

With over a decade of professional experience in education, management, and development, Justice brings a unique blend of heart, soul, pragmatism, and analytics as we develop content and our strategic plan for the next five years.

Questions? Ideas? We Want To Hear From You!

Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.


Learn about upcoming events, special offers, and more.

Spread the Word with Friends!
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn