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Riot Games Celebrates Black Leaders at AfroTech 2022

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This was our second year at AfroTech but the first time we attended the event in person after holding a panel during virtual AfroTech last year. Members of Riot Noir, our employee resource group of Black Rioters who work on teams across the company, came together at the event to have conversations about Black culture, tech, and innovation, and recruit candidates for open roles, including QA engineers and software engineers.

Riot Noir members got the chance to personally meet with many of the estimated 25,000 attendees who made their way to Austin for the conference. This was a chance for Riot to show up in this space at a time when Black people within the tech industry are seeking ways to be seen and heard. To be a visible part of this experience next to other giants in the industry was a crucial building block for Riot Noir and Riot Games to express our dedication to uplifting these voices.

Founded by Blavity’s Morgan DeBaun, AfroTech started six years ago and quickly became the hub for “networking, recruiting, and filling the gap,” according to co-founder Jeff Nelson. In the years since its debut in 2016, the conference has brought Black entrepreneurs and rising Black-owned companies together with recruiters from companies like Meta, Salesforce, and Google.

From panels led by personalities like Mark Cuban, who gave crucial advice on the potential slowdown in the tech industry, to members of the music industry talking about the business of streaming and hip-hop, AfroTech 2022 covered a wide range of impactful topics. Combined with the opportunity to get one-on-one time with recruiters, this conference is an example of what’s possible within tech; hyper-serving a community that normally doesn’t get these chances. 

There was the gaming panel, “A Culture Conversation: Future-Proofing Diversity in Gaming” with Cxmmunity’s Founder and CEO Ryan Johnson and CEO of Gay Gaming Professionals Gordon Bellamy. Their conversation highlighted the importance of increasing access for the next generation of Black gaming professionals, including the recent Cxmmunity and Riot Games HBCU Kickback event in Atlanta, Georgia that brought together 250+ HBCU students to hear from Riot leaders and Riot Noir members.

 

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