Diego Scotti, Chief Marketing Officer at Verizon, took to the stage at E3 2021 to share some of the major initiatives in gaming and advancements in technology the company was prepared to share with gamers and fans.
“A powerful network is the foundation of the future of the gaming industry, and that network is Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband,” said Scotti. “As we continue to work with our partners to build the future of the industry, we’re literally changing the game. 5G has massive implications for developers, eSports teams and fans. As that ecosystem grows, a commitment to diversity, specifically around female representation, is crucial to continued innovation. The Verizon Game Forward Scholarship is an important action towards achieving the equity the industry needs.”
The keynote was an opportunity for audiences to learn about some of the more significant moves Verizon has been working on with regard to gaming, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. Per the company’s press release:
Building on Verizon’s long-standing commitment to DEI and the need to address diversity as the gaming community grows, the Verizon Game Forward Scholarship aims to increase female representation in gaming and STEM. Support for the program is being provided by Cxmmunity, a non-profit dedicated to increasing the participation of minorities within the esports and video game industry.
This fall, the scholarship will be awarded to a team of five female students pursuing degrees in technology at five HBCUs: Delaware State University, Dillard University, Howard University, Morgan State University and Texas Southern University. The 25 scholarship recipients will also be guaranteed internships at top tech and gaming companies, including Verizon and its partners, ensuring an increase in the pipeline of female talent into STEM careers.
The program will also fund the creation of tech centers on the campuses of the partnering HBCUs, which will be accessible to the entire school. The scholarship recipients will also receive access to the Verizon 5G Gaming Center at the 5G Lab in Los Angeles, where the frontiers of network-driven innovation in areas like esports are being pushed and innovative, forward-thinking companies can access the resources to build and scale the future of gaming. Cxmmunity will help to develop scholarship criteria, select qualified student recipients, and procure and manage all logistics to install the tech centers at the five HBCUs. Verizon Game Forward Scholarship is an expansion of the Future Fund, a $5 million fund launched in 2020 to champion new and emerging female talent across entertainment and technology.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Mark Chang, Verizon’s director of gaming and esports, to talk more specifics. You can find our full conversation here at The Nerds of Color blog.