Riot Games Partners with SoLa Impact’s I CAN Foundation to Fund South LA’s First Technology and Entrepreneurship Center
LOS ANGELES – January 13, 2021 – In a move to significantly narrow the digital divide, Riot Games announced a commitment of over $2 million to SoLa Impact’s I CAN Foundation to fund the buildout and operation of SoLa’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center which will provide free technology education to the community of South Los Angeles. Riot’s contribution enables the completion of the 14,000 square foot, world-class technology and esports center at SoLa’s Beehive campus which will open in early 2022. The center aims to inspire and develop the next generation of Black and Brown game developers, esports athletes, technology professionals, leaders, and entrepreneurs—all free of charge to South LA residents.
“Over the last few years, Riot has made a commitment to increase representation in the gaming industry and provide opportunities to marginalized groups around the world. Our partnership with SoLa Impact and the SoLa I Can Foundation to build this center and gaming arena demonstrates that commitment firsthand,” said Jeffery Burrell, Director of Social Impact. “We are thrilled to join forces with SoLa, who has been on the ground successfully pushing to provide technology education and entrepreneurial skills to communities that need it most.”
At the state-of-the-art center, students will be trained in coding, animation, graphic design, digital content creation, esports development, entrepreneurship, and practical life and job skills. Riot Games and SoLa I CAN Foundation will partner to provide technology education access to more than 1,000 students annually, with a long-term goal to close the digital divide and inspire future generations to pursue meaningful careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
“We are incredibly inspired and encouraged by the example that Riot Games has set by putting into action their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Thanks to Riot, by this time next year, we will have over 1,000 young Black and brown students who will have the same access to the powerful benefits of technology as their counterparts in more affluent areas—and this is just the beginning,” said Sherri Francois, SoLa Impact’s Chief Impact Officer and Executive Director of the SoLa I CAN Foundation.
Riot and SoLa’s partnership will secure new pathways for economic and educational opportunities, allowing students to fundamentally change their life trajectories, resulting in long-term economic growth that aims to decrease intergenerational poverty in Los Angeles.
About SoLa Impact’s I CAN Foundation
The SoLa I CAN Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit affiliate of SoLa Impact, aims to improve the lives of South LA residents and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by providing opportunities for education and economic mobility. SoLa provides the community with skills-based technology programming, as well as scholarships and career development opportunities for underinvested communities to ensure Black and brown Angelenos get increased access to jobs, mentorship, and placement in the most competitive fields of business.
About Riot Games
Riot Games was founded in 2006 to develop, publish, and support the most player-focused games in the world. In 2009, Riot released its debut title, League of Legends, to worldwide acclaim. League has gone on to be the most-played PC game in the world and a key driver of the explosive growth of esports.
As League enters its second decade, Riot continues to evolve the game while delivering new experiences to players with Teamfight Tactics, Legends of Runeterra, VALORANT, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and multiple work-in-progress titles, while exploring the world of Runeterra through multimedia projects across music, comic books, TV, and more. Riot has also launched a publishing group, Riot Forge, to collaborate with third-party developers on additional games set in the League universe.
Founded by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill and led by CEO Nicolo Laurent, Riot is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and has 3,000 Rioters in 20+ offices worldwide.