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Unity Support Helps Spelman Expand Gaming+ Programs Share a Spelman College Press Release

(ATLANTA) Spelman College plans to send more women of color into the gaming industry. The nation’s premier liberal arts college for African American women just got a helping hand with a $300,000 three year grant from the Unity Charitable Fund, administered by Tides Foundation, to develop a gaming curriculum supported by Unity Technologies.

Unity was an early funder for Spelman’s Innovation Lab, a campus-wide source for creative inquiry, unconventional research, experimental pedagogy and exploratory play. The new grant will allow the lab to extend gaming efforts to students at other Atlanta University Center institutions, including Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and, possibly, Morris Brown College, said Jerry Volcy, co-director of the Innovation Lab.

“The grant from Unity really allows us to expand the gaming space to include more women of color,” Volcy said. “It gives women of color a voice in the industry and has created a lot of interest in purposeful games.”

The Innovation Lab at Spelman College is home to a budding program, Gaming+, which encompasses game design, gaming theory, game development, elements of interactive media, virtual and extended reality and other technologies linked to gaming.

“The grant will be used to develop Gaming+ into a formal curricular area of concentration or minor, support faculty research in gaming, and create and maintain gaming workshops,” Volcy explained.

“This will bring experts to campus and provide a learning and networking opportunity for the campus community,” he said.

Madeleine Brown, 20 and a junior computer science major at Spelman College, had set her heart on a career in network security. But the Dallas, Texas native’s life was changed last summer after receiving a flier via email about the Innovation Lab.

Brown is busy on her first video game -- a 3D racing game featuring a woman of color. She has sketched a track configuration, created the first race cart and is building out a virtual world.

“I’ve started to code; I know Python, but I’m learning C-Sharp for Unity,” she said. “I’m hoping to have a fully working character model in the cart by end of year.”


About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by the U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 51 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 5 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 16th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal has ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and collaborations have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones.

To learn more, please visit and @spelmancollege on social media.


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