OverActive Media, the parent company of the Toronto Defiant, Toronto Ultra, and MAD Lions E.C., has created a diversity and inclusion initiative with Egale Canada.
Eagle Canada is a national organisation focused on supporting the rights of LGBTQI2S people, and the partners will focus on such matters in the esports and gaming spaces.
Paulo Senra, Global Head of Public Relations at OverActive Media, commented in a release: “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 organisation and industry a safer and better place. 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.”
The collaborative initiative was founded with a $71,600 CAD (£42,100) grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, a community-focused government agency. The initiative will be focused within the Canadian province, which includes OverActive Media’s home base of Toronto.
According to a release, the allies will work to “identify gaps and opportunities” to help LGBTQI2S youth and “work together on research and community consultation.” Additionally, the partners seek to use the results to advise on potential reforms for policy and industry best practices, as well as develop future initiatives.
Helen Kennedy, Executive Director at Egale, added: “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. 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.”
Esports Insider says: OverActive Media has been very focused on its home market, and it’s great to see that expand beyond business partnerships into social initiatives as well. This could be a very positive alliance not only for Toronto-area youth, but also throughout esports and gaming.