Niantic have pledged to donate proceeds from Pokemon GO 2020 Fest to Black creators, developers, and communities. The commitment is for at least $5 million in support.
The announcement comes by way of a memo from Niantic’s CEO, John Hanke, which was published on June 3 on the company’s official blog. The statement was also released on Twitter. Hanke said:
Half of the proceeds donated will be used to fund new projects from Black gaming and AR creators that can live on the Niantic platform, with the ultimate goal of increasing content that represents a more diverse view on the world. The other half will go to US nonprofit organizations that are helping local communities rebuild.
On top of that, Hanke pledged Niantic to a $100,000 donation to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, with employee donation matching up to $50,000. The Marsha P. Johnson Institute is an organization dedicated to promoting human rights for Black trans people.
Niantic will also be increasing its work with Gameheads, which focuses on helping “low-income youth and youth of color” gain employment in games and tech, by providing money for scholarships and helping create a new augmented reality development program.
There’s more to Niantic’s involvement than these initiatives, including diversity and inclusion training and apprenticeships, which will continue well into the future.
These initiatives don’t end with an announcement. The work to follow through will require years of effort to yield the impact we seek. Along the way, we’ll be looking for even more opportunities to deepen these initiatives.
You can read Hanke’s full statement here.