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Aiming to narrow the digital divide, Riot Games is committing over $2 million to SoLa Impact’s I Can Foundation.
The contribution from Los Angeles-based Riot Games, the publisher of League of Legends, will help fund the local education effort and assist with the buildout and operation of SoLa’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center, which will provide free technology education to the community of South Los Angeles.
Riot’s contribution enables the completion of the 14,000 square foot, world-class technology and esports center at SoLa’s Beehive campus which will open later this month. At the state-of-the-art center, students will be trained in coding, animation, graphic design, digital content creation, esports development, entrepreneurship, and practical life and job skills.
Riot said it will support the Los Angeles community while also promoting diversity and inclusion in the gaming, esports, and tech industries. The center aims to inspire and develop the next generation of Black and Brown game developers, esports athletes, technology professionals, leaders, and entrepreneurs—all free of charge to South LA residents.
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“Over the last few years, Riot has made a commitment to increase representation in the gaming industry and provide opportunities to marginalized groups around the world. Our partnership with SoLa Impact and the SoLa I CAN Foundation to build this center and gaming arena demonstrates that commitment firsthand,” said Jeffrey Burrell, director of social impact at Riot Games, in a statement. “We are thrilled to join forces with SoLa, who has been on the ground successfully pushing to provide technology education and entrepreneurial skills to communities that need it most.”
At the center, students will be trained in coding, animation, graphic design, digital content creation, esports development, entrepreneurship, and practical life and job skills. Riot Games and SoLa I Can Foundation will partner to provide technology education access to more than 1,000 students annually, with a long-term goal to close the digital divide and inspire future generations to pursue meaningful careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
“We are incredibly inspired and encouraged by the example that Riot Games has set by putting into action their commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Sherri Francois, SoLa Impact’s chief impact officer and executive director of the SoLa I Can Foundation, in a statement. “Thanks to Riot, by this time next year, we will have over 1,000 young Black and brown students who will have the same access to the powerful benefits of technology as their counterparts in more affluent areas — and this is just the beginning.”
Riot and SoLa’s partnership will secure new pathways for economic and educational opportunities, allowing students to fundamentally change their life trajectories, resulting in long-term economic growth that aims to decrease intergenerational poverty in Los Angeles.