Meet Cxmmunity, a Black-owned nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in the gaming and esports industry.
As part of the company’s new partnership with Verizon, Cxmmunity took part in the second annual HBCU Esports League Verizon Celebrity Pro-Am on Sunday, March 27. The star-studded virtual event included $10K in prizes and brought together historically Black college and university students for a Fortnite tournament that included top celebrities and fellow avid gamers like T-Pain, Brett Gray, Tarik Cohen, and more.
“Through our Career Readiness Program and HBCU Esports League, we are creating opportunities for students to learn about STEM careers through the lens of esports and video games,” CEO and Founder of Cxmmunity Ryan Johnson told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
“Our Career Readiness Program is an after-school and summer program that exposes students to multidisciplinary job opportunities that exist in the industry. We’ve partnered with organizations like Microsoft, Verizon, Comcast, and Intel to help provide access to technology and other digital literacy assets that help students further their knowledge around STEM.”
With Black professional gamers comprising just 2% of the industry despite the 83% of Black teens who play video games, Cxmmunity’s mission is to provide equity, avenues for exposure, and further resources and opportunities for Black people to monetize in this space.
“Major steps for diversity in this space begin with exposing students to new information and creating more opportunities for careers and competition for people of color,” Johnson said. “Through this process, minority students and minority instructors will have more opportunities to insert themselves as viable candidates as new careers and jobs become available.”
When it comes to the lack of diversity in the gaming world, Johnson speaks to the gatekeepers and encourages them to invest in making the industry more inclusive and representative of the people playing the games.
“Major companies in the esports and video game industry also have to be willing to take risks and invest in communities of color,” Johnson said. “Diversity efforts require a level of risk and discomfort that most brands are quick to avoid due to cultural differences and nuances. To ensure true growth of diversity in this space, there needs to be more trailblazers lighting the torch and raising awareness around the lack of participation of people of color in these professional gaming spaces.”
This content was originally published here.