By: Johnson C. Smith University
CHARLOTTE, N.C. / Feb. 20, 2023 – Johnson C. Smith University’s College of Business and Professional Studies is pleased to announce its co-production of the first ever “HBCU Esports and Gaming Week” event in partnership with one of the world’s leading esports and gaming corporations, Activision Blizzard on Feb. 28and March 1, in commemoration of Black History month and Women’s History month.
This two-day event will feature fireside chats and panel sessions specifically aimed at exposing scholars, administrators, faculty and staff from representing a myriad of HBCUs, middle schools, high schools, and community organizations to information related to various pertinent topics within the esports and gaming ecosystem, including, but not limited to: esports and gaming career pathways, content creation, and the convergence of esports and the armed forces, etc.
The highlight of the HBCU Esports and Gaming Week event will be a fireside chat on March 1st with Johanna Faries, SVP & GM, Call of Duty®. As General Manager, Faries oversees the Call of Duty business, including live operations and franchise-wide strategy. Faries will participate in a fireside chat with Dr. BerNadette Lawson-Williams in an engaging conversation with students, faculty, staff, and community members after taking a brief tour of JCSU’s campus and its Esports Lab, the first at an HBCU.
Since its inception in January 2020, JCSU’s Esports and Gaming Trifecta (ESG Trifecta), has made a formidable imprint in the collegiate Esports and Gaming ecosystem. The ESG Trifecta is the first-ever program of its kind at an HBCU and is comprised of an Esports and Gaming Management academic program, an Esports Lab, and a highly competitive Esports Club, which has received notability in the collegiate esports landscape by defeating numerous well-known varsity teams in Call of Duty, a popular video game published by Activision.
JCSU ESG Trifecta is widely recognized as the blueprint for HBCU Esports. More than three years since its inception, it continues to dominate in the esports and gaming ecosystem and on the collegiate landscape. It has acquired local, state, regional, international, and congressional acclaim. Among its accomplishments include being nominated for the 2021 Esports Collegiate Award, launching the first online HBCU Esports team store, which features JCSU Esports merchandise, and co-producing the first ever HBCU Esports Conference and Career Expo to be hosted in a blockchain ecosystem, in partnership with MetArena, a technology company based in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“We are honored to partner with Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s leading esports and gaming powerhouses to co-produce this historic “HBCU Esports and Gaming Week” event, which is aimed at positioning gamer-scholars to achieve career success beyond their controllers,” said Dr. BerNadette Lawson-Williams, founder, and coordinator of JCSU’s Esports and Gaming Trifecta, which is housed in the College of Business and Professional Studies.