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Gerald A. Lawson Endowment Fund supports Black and Indigenous students in game creation

Established by USC Games, this endowment aims to increase Black and Indigienous representation in gaming and tech industries.

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The push for greater racial representation in tech fields is an ever-continuing endeavor and the folks at USC Games have taken a large step to increase Black and Indigenous representation in gaming with the creation of the Gerald A. Lawson Endowment Fund.

The Fund will provide student support for Black and Indigenous students who wish to pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees in game design or computer science from USC's prestigious program. With financial support from additional game and technology companies and donors, USC Games’ vision is to expand the initiative and support other aspects of diversity and equity, including salary support for additional Black and Indigenous faculty as well as labs and projects that address issues that affect these marginalized communities.

Take-Two Interactive, known for publishing games such as Grand Theft Auto V and the NBA 2K series, made a significant seed contribution to establish the Lawson Fund. Student recipients of the funds will be known as Lawson Scholars. 

Gerald A. Lawson led the team that invented interchangeable ROM cartridges used in the Fairchild Channel F, one of the early home gaming consoles that predates the Atari 2600. Born in 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, he credited his interest in science to his first-grade teacher, who inspired him with stories about George Washington Carver. Mr. Lawson became one of the few Black engineers in the gaming industry during its inception when he also developed the arcade game Demolition Derby and was a member of the legendary “Homebrew Computer Club” whose members also included Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Lawson passed away in 2011. His contributions are on permanent display at the World Video Game Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.

Parties interested in supporting the Lawson Fund can find more information at the Fund’s official website.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      May 6, 2021 5:20 PM

      Awesome!

    • reply
      October 24, 2022 12:06 PM

      I think creating the such program was an amazing idea. I'm sure it will make that sphere more diverse. This year I started university, and I study computer science. And I'm also interested in the gaming sphere, and I want to try to work there for sure, after graduation or during my studies. And I also have Black and Indigenous students in my group, but honestly, not that many. That's why I hope that the program will help talented students because different things may hold them from getting a degree. I also hoped to get a scholarship and succeeded, but it took me a lot of effort. On this page https://studymoose.com/university/villanova-university , I found more about the application process, writing an application letter, and so on. Other sites helped me to write a competitive paper and improve my chances. I was lucky to get a scholarship, but not everyone manages to do it, so it's cool that such programms appear and help students.

    • reply
      October 24, 2022 12:11 PM

      I think creating the such program was an amazing idea. I'm sure it will make that sphere more diverse. This year I started university, and I study computer science. And I'm also interested in the gaming sphere, and I want to try to work there for sure, after graduation or during my studies. And I also have Black and Indigenous students in my group, but honestly, not that many. That's why I hope that the program will help talented students because different things may hold them from getting a degree. I also hoped to get a scholarship and succeeded, but it took me a lot of effort. On this page https://studymoose.com/university/villanova-university , I found more about the application process, writing an application letter, and so on. Other sites helped me to write a competitive paper and improve my chances. I was lucky to get a scholarship, but not everyone manages to do it, so it's cool that such programms appear and help students.

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