TORONTO, CANADA (Oct. 14, 2020) – Today, Egale Canada and OverActive Media Group are announcing a new collaboration to bring LGBTQI2S inclusion to the esports industry, with a particular focus on youth and young adults. With a $71,600 (CAD) Seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation awarded in the spring, the two organizations will work together to identify gaps and opportunities to improve diversity and inclusion and to also identify the particular needs of young LGBTQI2S people in both the competitive and grassroots gaming space.
“This funding comes at a time when online activities like esports and gaming are at an all-time high and inevitably with that comes increased cyberbullying and discrimination – areas we know already disproportionately impact LGBTQI2S young people,” said Helen Kennedy, Executive Director at Egale. “Our hope is that this work will help us identify some of the particular struggles of young people involved with esports and other online gaming and support them in creating youth-led solutions.”
“Thank you to Egale Canada and OverActive Media for your work supporting the development LGBTQI2S children and youth,” said Suze Morrison, MPP for Toronto Centre. “Your research of LGBTQI2S inclusion in the esports industry will open more opportunities for young people to participate in online activities, and help combat hate online and in our community.”
Youth increasingly live online. According to a research report by Danielle Vitali, “From Bullies to Heroes: Homophobia in Video Games”, up to 97 per cent of teens play videogames which have a history of cyberbullying. Egale and OverActive Media will work together on research and community consultation to identify the needs of LGBTQI2S youth, allies, and others active in esports and online gaming more broadly.
“Tangible action can only be taken once we can name and address the challenges faced by LGBTQI2S youth, and Egale Canada is the right partner to help make our organization and industry a safer and better place, said Paulo Senra, Global Head of Public Relations at OverActive.
OverActive Media is focused on developing industry-leading corporate social responsibility partnerships, attracting diverse talent and fostering a more inclusive workplace. “Today is a continuation of some of the work we've already started with the LGBTQI2S community, and we have more to do to begin creating the space for further discussions and progress in several other communities, added Senra.
The findings from this collaboration, focused in Ontario, will be used to inform the creation of future esports initiatives such as policy and best practice reform, youth-led solutions and interventions that focus on the development of emotional and social skills of youth facing barriers in their online communities.
About Egale CanadaEgale is Canada’s only national organization working to advance LGBTQI2S human rights. Egale works to improve the lives of LGBTQI2S people in Canada and to enhance the global response to LGBTQI2S issues. Egale’s vision is a Canada, and ultimately a world, without homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and all other forms of oppression so that every person can achieve their full potential, free from hatred and bias. Egale.ca
About the Ontario Trillium Foundation
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $115 million to 644 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario. www.otf.ca
For more information or to request an interview, please contact:
Jennifer Boyce, Director of PR & Communications1 674 404 7156 firstname.lastname@example.org
OverActive Media contact:
Paulo Senra, Global Head of Public Relations416-882-7919 email@example.com