By Joseph Phillips, Crusader Sports Editor
Known as the nation’s oldest historically Black athletic conference, the CIAA, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, has partnered with Cxmmunity, an Atlanta-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing minority participation in the esports and video game industries, to help spearhead Esports and future Gaming Initiatives in the near future.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Cxmmunity to help provide access to resources within the esports and gaming industry,” said Jacqie McWilliams, commissioner of the CIAA. “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.”
The group will work together to help 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 membership.
The HBCU Esports League and Cxmmunity will also provide competitive gaming opportunities for CIAA membership, offer participants the chance to earn scholarships, and assist 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.
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) was founded in 1912 and is the first and longest running, African American athletic conference in the U.S. and one of the most recognized conferences in Division II. The CIAA conducts 14 championships attended by more than 150,000 fans from around the country.
For more information on the CIAA, visit theciaa.com. You can also like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram. To learn more about Cxmmunity and its mission, visit https://www.cxmmunity.co/.