Black tech founders are positioning HBCUs to become contenders in the field of eSports, and Georgia-based organization Pharaoh’s Conclave (PCX) is maintaining this mission with its latest donation.
According to Black Enterprise, Pharaoh’s Conclave — Georgia’s leading organization for diversity and inclusion in competitive video gaming — has shared that — in partnership with the Thomas Family Fund — they’ve made a $160,000 contribution toward Morris Brown College to establish the Ronald Floyd Thomas Center for eSports and Innovation.
The decision from Morris Brown College Board of Trustees was unanimously approved to establish the center back in October 2020.
“I am so grateful for the gift from the Ronald Floyd Thomas family and Pharaoh’s Conclave,” Dr. Kevin James — President of Morris Brown College — said in a written statement. “This designated gift will help take our new eSports program to the next level. I am so excited that Morris Brown College can lead as Georgia’s first State approved eSports Performance degree program.”
Within his statement, James shared the institution has two tracks in the program, including a certificate and a degree in eSports, and high school students will be able to dual enroll and complete high school with 24 college credit hours in the approved program.
He concluded saying:
“Morris Brown will lead to eSports education and competitive gaming. This gift just catapulted us forward. We will immediately begin plans to remodel an area on campus into the Ronald Floyd Thomas Center for eSports and Innovation, which will include top-notch eSports equipment. Moreover, we will begin recruiting the best gaming students to attend Morris Brown and compete competitively on our eSports team.”
Co-founders Jakita O. Thomas, Ph.D., and Erich Thomas created Pharaoh’s Conclave back in 2017 to use video gaming to educate and leverage exposure to it as a method to address diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, Black Enterprise reports.
Through the organization, the Thomases have introduced over 10,000 children across the U.S. to eSports, and awarded over $30,000 in college scholarships to youth and young adults interested in exploring eSports as a professional career.
“When my husband, Ronald Floyd Thomas, entered Morris Brown College to complete the work on his degree, he fully embraced becoming a true “Brownite,” said Geri Thomas — grant advisor of the Thomas Family Fund — in a statement. “Funding the establishment of the Ronald Floyd Thomas Center for eSports and Innovation at Morris Brown College is a fitting tribute to a man who valued education and the contributions of historically Black colleges and universities to our culture and family. It is in keeping with his commitment to educational opportunity that a program exists to equip this generation of scholars with the skills to excel in STEM and be on the cutting edge of this new technology at—Dear Old Morris Brown.”