Streaming service Twitch targets HBCUs to increase minority participation in gaming

Twitch aims to encourage diversity in esports through a new partnership bringing an official league to HBCU campuses.

Drive For Diversity Driver, Rajah Caruth checks his live-broadcast Twitch stream as he competes in the eTruck Series Night in America. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The popular gaming platform Twitch announces a partnership with nonprofit organization Cxmmunity to bring an official esports league to historically Black colleges and universities.

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The league will be the first of its kind in Black colleges. Engadget reports the participating HBCU students will be provided educational and scholarship support via Twitch Student and the program will help HBCUs expand their esports programs.

“As a graduate of an HBCU and knowing firsthand how we’re underrepresented and just lack the access to get into gaming, I’m excited to be working with Twitch to fulfill our mission in increasing the participation of minorities within these industries and close the digital divide,” said Chris Peay, CoFounder of Cxmmunity, according to Engadget.

Cxmmunity is a nonprofit, that according to their official website, is “committed to increasing participation in minority esports through STEAM development.

The organization announced the partnership on social media saying, “oh my, what a time to be alive.

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Engadget notes that currently, over 200 North American colleges and universities have esports teams or clubs associated with Tespa, the National Association of Collegiate Esports. Out of the hundreds represented, only one HBCU is listed – Morehouse College, the historic private, all-male institution in Atlanta, Georgia.

The report continues to highlight the racial disparities in the gaming community between players and industry professionals. Engadget reports that while an estimated 83% of Black teens play video games, 68% of video game creators are white, according to data from the International Game Developers Association.

Together, Twitch and Cxmmunity hope to build a “pipeline for Black talent in the esports industry,” the companies said in a statement.

A first look into the newly-formed HBCU league will be broadcast by Twitch on the Cxmmunity Twitch channel on August 2.

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