Twitch has partnered with Cxmmunity, an Atlanta-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing minority participation in the esports and video game industries, to create the first of its kind Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) esports league. The league will help students gain access to educational and scholarship support offered through Twitch Student, and help HBCUs expand their esports programs.
According to Twitch, the company has a belief that esports is a natural extension of traditional sports on college campuses where teams are often the “backbone of student life.” With that in mind, the partners are designing this league to close the diversity gap while bringing and creating access to underserved communities.
Tennents of the first-of-its-kind scholarships aim to:
- Create meaningful experiences for HBCU students to develop skills around content creation and streaming;
- Help elevate POC voices and talent through introducing HBCU students to careers within the gaming and esports fields;
- Leverage local and national resources to drive Cxmmunity’s mission of creating equal opportunities.
Additionally, this newly established league will also open up numerous opportunities for HBCUs to connect with top video game publishers, industry thought leaders, professional athletes, international recording artists, and entertainers.
Global scholar practitioner at Florida Memorial University, Dr. Marc Williams believes that this is a great start in helping POC garner more educational opportunities.
“I think that it’s wonderful to see that they have created a platform for people of color to learn about this billion dollar juggernaut,” said Williams, who has developed the curriculum for a new esports related business program at FMU that will launch in the fall. “We do however need to make sure HBCU’s are treated with respect, like any other university. They’re interested in education first, and esports can be a vehicle to that education.”
Data compiled by the International Game Developers Association says that 83% of black teens play video games. The International Game Developers Association also reported that 68% of video game creators were of European/Caucasian descent, 18% were East/South-East Asian, and the remaining 14% percent is a mix of Latinx, Western Asian, and African-American.