The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), the nation’s oldest historically black athletic conference, has partnered with Cxmmunity, an Atlanta-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing minority participation in the esports and video game industries.
The CIAA and Cxmmunity will work together to develop the conference’s esports ecosystem through strategic partnerships with industry leaders that focus on providing educational opportunities and career pathways for its students and members.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Cxmmunity to help provide access to resources within the esports and gaming industry,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “Survey results from our campuses show a high level of interest in this sector at every level and our goal is to further establish pipelines throughout the STEM field that offer career opportunities, scholarships, and educational programming for our students and member institutions.”
Additionally, through its HBCU Esports League, Cxmmunity will provide competitive gaming opportunities for CIAA membership, offering participants the chance to earn scholarships, while also assisting the conference with establishing its own branded esports programming.
“We are extremely excited to partner with the CIAA to bring esports and educational opportunities to their member institutions. Our goal is to foster a community that encourages competitive esports matches and assists the CIAA in developing an esports framework that exposes their students to scholarships, internships, and full-time jobs,” says Ryan Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of Cxmmunity.
A relationship initially fostered through conference member Johnson C. Smith University, the CIAA and Cxmmunity partnership is the first in a series of developments to introduce esports and gaming as a conference initiative. Earlier this year, JCSU became the first historically black college and university to offer an Esports and Gaming Management program to undergraduate students.