Happy Black History Month from Crystal Dynamics!
Happy Black History Month from Crystal Dynamics! My name is Vanessa Brasfield and I’m a community coordinator here at Crystal Dynamics. I’m excited to help kickoff our 2023 Black History Month celebration, which involves fundraising for a great cause, celebrating the Black cosplay community, a Black Joy panel, and more!
But first, a personal note on what Black History Month means to me. Growing up, we didn’t celebrate in the fashion we do currently (at least where I lived). Our celebrations often centered on small gestures or perhaps a footnote in our history classes about important historical leaders. What was sadly missing was anything you would deem a ‘celebration’ or an expression of JOY. It’s thrilling to see the way we mark Black History Month in 2023, with uplifting celebrations that encourage us to speak freely and be unapologetically ourselves. From cosplay to better representation in gaming, to seeing more Black entrepreneurs, Black game developers, creators, animators, and writers, we are making waves across the industry.
At Crystal Dynamics we’re observing Black History Month by giving back to the community, uplifting Black creativity, and fostering conversations about what it’s like to be both a fan and professional in the gaming industry! We’re excited to celebrate our peers, our community, and help inspire a new generation of Black Excellence! Here’s how we’re doing it:
- Black Girls Code Fundraiser: We’ll be fundraising for Black Girls Code using Tiltify, starting TODAY! We have a team campaign here: Crystal Dynamics x Black Girls Code and we would love for community to join us in supporting the cause and helping us reach our fundraising goal of $5000! A couple of highlights of how they serve the larger community:
- BGC is “committed to addressing diversity and changing the face of technology for Black girls by giving these tech divas the tools they need to succeed in the technology field—and in life.”
- Black Girls Code offers the following programs: One day workshops, enrichment activities, summer camps, and code clubs. Each program has a specific subject in five program domains: virtual reality, robotics, game design, web design, and mobile app development.
Donations will go towards supporting BGC STEM programs for girls from disenfranchised communities, including workshops, summer camp sessions, and enrichment activities. Since 2011, BGC has reached over 20,000 girls through these programs.
- Black Artist Showcase: We’ve commissioned the incredibly talented QueenBeanie to create an original character, “Tania”, and a series of emotes for the community to use in their own Black History Month celebrations across Twitch, Discord, and more. You can find more of their work here and download the PNG emotes for use here.
- #28DaysofBlackCosplay: We’ll be highlighting Black cosplayers in the community to commemorate their awesome talent across a broad range of diverse characters, complete with an interview from the creator of #28DaysOfBlackCosplay – Chaka Cumberbatch!
- Black Excellence in Gaming: We’ll also feature a blog highlighting Black Excellence in gaming. This year we’ll feature Geralt “Jerry” Lawson and Murial Tranis and explore how their cutting edge contributions to gaming at large.
- Celebrating Black Joy: Towards the end of the month, I’ll be hosting a panel on the Crystal Dynamics Twitch alongside three other Black industry professionals to have a full hour of all things Black Joy: from our favorite moments in the industry, to our paths to our current positions, to wins, our inspirations and much more!
We hope that you’ll join us all month for our Black History Month celebration – and don’t forget – you can recognize your favorite Black colleagues, creators, writers, professionals, cosplayers, etc. year-round!