LOS ANGELES, /PRNewswire/ — McDonald’s of Washington, DC, Greater Baltimore and Eastern Shore, in collaboration with Black Collegiate Gaming Association (BCGA) and global esports organization Gen.G, is announcing another edition of the HBCU+ College netWORK, a one-day event aimed at empowering students who want to break into the gaming and esports industry. Taking place on September 13, the conference will provide students with invaluable insights into the pathways to success as both gamers and industry professionals. An NBA2K tournament will cap the day with 16 student participants competing for a $1,000 prize pool.
The HBCU+ College netWORK event brings together figures from gaming and esports to share their personal stories and provide guidance on how to navigate a career in the field. Students will learn from industry pros on their gaming and esports path with a focus on the role of how their own collegiate journeys played a part.
Throughout the day, students will learn, network, and engage in a series of thought-provoking panels, immersive workshops, and more. The event will kick off with a Summit from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST, featuring panels that address critical topics such as “Battling Toxicity In The Industry,” where psychologists and industry professionals will share tips on how to succeed despite institutional barriers. Another panel, “What Comes Next?,” will explore three career paths, future plans, and the evolving landscape of esports and gaming in the next 5-10 years. Additionally, the “Black Gamers Matter” panel will explore the significance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in games today, offering best practices for fostering a more inclusive digital environment. Speakers come from a variety of organizations and leadership positions in the industry including Marcus Kennedy general manager, gaming division at Intel, Verta Maloney, co-founder of the gameHERS, and Latoya Peterson, co-founder of Glow Up Games.
Students will also participate in breakout networking groups and mixers, allowing them to connect with the attending industry professionals, build relationships, and gain valuable insights from experienced mentors.
“It is an honor to partner with organizations like The Black Collegiate Gaming Association, who are passionate about nurturing and providing resources for students to reach their career goals. The HBCU+ College network event is providing a unique educational opportunity while broadening their perspective,” said Craig B. Welburn, President of McDonald’s Capital Business Unit and McDonald’s Owner Operator. “We are happy to be a part of pouring into our next generation of leaders and stars who will soon turn their ideas about the gaming and esports industry into a reality.”
“Black high school & college students, for the first time will have the opportunity to see and network with successful leaders in the industry and participate in fun gaming competitions for scholarships and prizes. They will also learn about a variety of career opportunities that can change the trajectories of their lives. African Americans and women of color are the most overlooked audiences in esports, gaming, and the overall tech industry; yet that is where the greatest opportunities lie. It is time to ascend from just consumers to being contributors and creators. BCGA is here to provide exposure and pathways to these promising fields. Our goal is to aid in creating future groundbreakers and trailblazers. They will be the next set of history makers,” said Keshia Walker, The Founder & ChairWoman of The Black Collegiate Gaming Association
Closing the day, sixteen participants will participate in the NBA2K esports tournament from 7:00pm – 9:00pm EST. The tournament will stream live on Gen.G’s Twitch (Twitch.tv/Gengesports), and participants will compete for a chance to win various prizes including the prize pool of $1000. The goal of this event is to further foster community and networking among aspiring Black gamers.