Niantic is committing all of the Pokemon Go Fest 2020 proceeds to support the black community and black gaming and AR creators, the company announced today.
Niantic is also making a $100,000 donation to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and doing an employee match of up to $50,000.
The company guaranteed that it will donate half of the total raised to support the black creators who will shine a light on characters, stories, and points of view that validate the lives and experiences of the black community.
“We already strive to make the world better by encouraging our players to explore the world around them and connect with their local community through physical interaction, to build a strong body and mind through exercise, and to build positive connections with fellow human beings through real-world social interaction,” Niantic CEO John Hanke said. “We think the next area where we can make a powerful, scalable impact is through the culture, ideas, and role models we help to create.”
The minimum amount Niantic will be donating through Go Fest and its other donations is $5.15 million. Half of the proceeds will go to black creators, while the other half will go to U.S. nonprofit organizations that are helping local communities rebuild.
Niantic is also developing new Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) training with a specific focus on allyship training. The company is upping its commitment to Treehouse, an organization dedicated to diversifying tech by making education more accessible, and expanding its partnership with Gameheads, a nonprofit that teaches kids how to develop games from beginning to end.
Niantic employees are also being encouraged to attend community events with a five days per year limit being added as flex days benefits for all employees.
“We aim to be a force of change committed to the long road ahead of rebuilding a more just and fair system where historical racial divides are overcome and where all are welcomed, valued, and have a fair chance at success,” Hanke said. “The first step is overcoming the racism and injustice that prevents members of our community from safely enjoying the freedom and pleasure of a simple walk or run outdoors. Black Lives Matter.”