USC Games has established a new fund with help from Borderlands publisher Take-Two Interactive that will support Black and Indigenous students in game design and engineering.
The Gerald A. Lawson Endowment Fund has been created with the goal of increasing the representation of those groups in the video game and tech industries, and will provide student support for Black and Indigenous students who wish to pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees in game design or computer science through the USC Games program.
Take-Two made a significant seed contribution to help establish the Lawson Fund. The initiative is named after pioneering electronic engineer Gerald Lawson, who led the team that invented the interchangeable ROM cartridges used in the Fairchild Channel F console. Lawson was one of the few Black engineers working in the games industry during its inception.
"With financial support from additional game and technology companies and donors, USC Games’ vision is to expand the initiative and support other aspects of diversity and equity, including salary support for additional Black and Indigenous faculty as well as labs and projects that addressed issues that affect these marginalized communities," reads a press release.
"Student recipients of the funds will be known as Lawson Scholars and the initiative will be featured during the program’s annual USC Games Expo."
Those interested can find out more about the fund over on the USC Games website.