The gaming industry is a melting pot of all kinds of people with different ethnicities, working backgrounds, and interests. Latinx in Gaming is bringing everyone together by creating a community where Latinx-identifying gamers can network. The founders of the U.S.-based organization are currently celebrating its newest status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and they’re expanding their goals, outreach, and much more for the upcoming year.
Daily Esports spoke to Latinx in Gaming co-founder Elaine Gómez to discuss its new status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. She also shared some insight into how the team worked through the COVID-19 pandemic.
A grassroots effort for a Latinx-based gaming community
Gómez described the nonprofit as “an entire grassroots effort.” At the beginning of the launch, she and four other members worked together to bring the organization to life. “We never thought that it would be such a wanted group that people really longed for. We didn’t realize the impact that our little group was going to have.” In a matter of months, the organization grew from a few hundred supporters to over 5,000.
“If you were to ask me in the beginning, never in our wildest dreams would we have thought we’d be partnering up with big companies like EA, and Bungie, and Epic, and create a big Hispanic heritage event online,” Gómez continued. “We have come so far and the support and the love from the community make it such a humbling experience.”
Reaching a 501c3 non-profit status
As the organization recently gained the status as a 501(c)(3), it is now recognized as a tax-exempt, charitable organization. Gómez gave insight into what this means for Latinx in Gaming.
“Being a nonprofit opens up a lot of doors when it comes to partnering with other organizations and studios,” Gómez said.
“Before, we wouldn’t have the logistical necessities a proper organization needs in order to do things well and legally as an entity. Being a nonprofit allows us to have [the funding] that we need. It gives us a really big leg up, especially with some specific topics that we want to have an impact on. For example, when it comes to visas and sponsorships for Latin American developers to get jobs to the U.S. or elsewhere, we can now help in that regard in a bigger capacity.”
Latinx in Gaming celebrates a milestone
Latinx in Gaming’s other co-founder Judith Barbosa also shared her thoughts on the organization’s newest achievement.
“All of it hinges on community participation, right? Ultimately our goal is for this to be bigger than us, a real vehicle of change.”
Barbosa continued: “If our community hasn’t grown and shown the enthusiasm that they have for our idea, we wouldn’t have been able to get here honestly. I’ve been organizing communities at a grassroots level for years, and my motivation has always been to create cool spaces and opportunities for cool people to enjoy themselves.
With Latinx in Gaming, that expanded into not only connecting people for fun, but also for education and professional advancement and to drive the point home that representation not only matters but is essential. I’ve considered us a success from the very beginning thanks to the appreciation and support shown from the community, but of course this growth and being recognized as a nonprofit is not only very rewarding but also exciting.”
Latinx in Gaming will soon host Unidos Online, a digital event that celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. From October 9 to 11, the event spotlights the unique intersection of Latinx culture and its gaming community. The schedule will exhibit mentoring sessions, speedruns, music, and more.
Next week Sunday will be our 3rd and final day of #UNIDOSonline programming, and we're going out with a bang!
And of course, so much more! Check it all out here:https://t.co/pSqd4lbVGj pic.twitter.com/vjcMvrbLzo
— Latinx in Gaming ☀ #UNIDOSonline (@LatinosinGaming) October 4, 2020