Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) have long been a pillar of the African-American community. And traditionally, sports programs have made up the backbone of those campuses. Now, Cxmmunity will bring esports into the fold. Cxmmunity is an organization dedicated to bringing the technology needed to pursue careers in STEM fields to underprivileged youths. Now, they’re expanding that vision to bring an esports league to HBCU’s. But now, Cxmmunity is partnering with Twitch to provide scholarships through the Twitch Student program.
CSL, TESPA, and NACE make up the three largest collegiate esports leagues, comprising over 200 schools. And of those schools, Morehouse College is the only HBCU. “The south is the cultural epicenter of the world. The opportunity to build the first HBCU esports league out of Atlanta is an honor and a privilege. As an HBCU graduate I am beyond excited to bring esports scholarships, internships, and job opportunities to students of color,” says Ryan Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of Cxmmunity.
For their part, Twitch has shown a strong focus on highlighting creators of color. The scholarships in this program will generate many new opportunities for college students around content creation and streaming. “I’m proud to be working alongside Cxmmunity to help minorities receive access to internet and devices to continue their education from home while pursuing gaming and esports.” Kevin Hoang, Manager of Scholastic Partnerships at Twitch.
The black community has been criminally under-represented and under-served in the digital space, and esports is no different. We here at CheckpointXP worked with Cxmmunity before. So we feel that Twitch couldn’t have found a better partner to bring this league to life. And speaking of Twitch, good on them for investing in a program like this. To be clear, it’s a small step in the right direction, and one they need to continue supporting and moving towards.
An estimated 83% of black teens play video games but only 14% of game developers are Black, Latinx, or Western-Asian. Something doesn’t add up in that math. Like so many issues, it starts in school and this would seem to be a step in the right direction. It’s an all-around feel-good moment, but critically important that no one sees it and goes “okay great, racial inequality in collegiate esports is fixed!” The work is just beginning.
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