Company |Culture |Diversity | Date published: 2.9.2021
Announcing Jackie Robinson Foundation MLB The Show Scholars Supported by PlayStation Career Pathways Program
To inspire and enable more diversity within the gaming industry, Sony Interactive Entertainment has created PlayStation Career Pathways Program. The first initiative is the Jackie Robinson Foundation MLB The Show Scholars created in partnership with the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF). The program will offer scholarships, mentorships, internships, and support to students from underrepresented groups to complete their secondary education and embark on a career path into the fields of technology and gaming.
Stemming from donations to different charitable programs including the “Know Your Rights Camp,” the Urban League of San Diego, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the team at San Diego Studio, along with Sony Interactive Entertainment’s DE&I team, worked closely with the Jackie Robinson Foundation to explore other ways to partner for greater impact which led to the creation of the Jackie Robinson Foundation MLB The Show Scholars supported by PlayStation Career Pathways Program.
Opening in Fall 2022, JRF MLB The Show Scholars supported by PlayStation Career Pathways Program will be used to fund scholarships, with a strong focus on women of color as they are the most underrepresented group in the gaming industry. Students from underrepresented groups interested in a career in any facet of the video game industry, not just game design, may apply. In addition to the curriculum programs offered by Jackie Robinson Foundation, this program will also include mentorships, internships, and potential career opportunities with Sony Interactive Entertainment.
“Jackie Robinson played a pivotal role in societal change as a champion of racial equality and social justice. This outstanding effort by Sony Interactive Entertainment will continue Jackie’s legacy of inspiring young people to achieve their dreams while offering equal opportunity through education. In this spirit, we applaud Sony Interactive Entertainment for their support of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, one of our longest and most treasured partners,” says Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr.
Utilizing Jackie Robinson Foundation’s 47 years of expertise and success, the Jackie Robinson Foundation will handle the implementation of the scholarship program while Sony Interactive Entertainment will aid in the selection process, mentorship, and internship portion of the program. “This partnership between Sony Interactive Entertainment, the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Jackie’s family is a fitting testament to his life’s work and provides encouragement and sustainable opportunities for future generations through gaming. Jackie Robinson inspired millions of young people to pursue their dreams with his courage and fortitude. His impact on baseball and American society remains powerful 74 years after he broke MLB’s color barrier,” says Tony Clark, Executive Director of MLB Players Association.
“We want to realize the power of education to generate economic wealth for Black people and other communities of color, and have underrepresented groups within our organization. JRF MLB The Show Scholars is a vehicle we will leverage to manifest that vision within the newly formed PlayStation Career Pathways Program,” says Tiffany Hester, Dir. Diversity & Inclusion, Sony Interactive Entertainment.
“We knew as a company we needed to take a look in the mirror and see what we could do better to support the passionate voices of color who want to pursue a career path in gaming,” says Ramone Russell, Product Development Communications & Brand Strategist, San Diego Studio. “Our goal is for this program to make a direct impact in our communities both nationally and locally in San Diego and also to see how we could tie our donations back to baseball and video games.”
SIE will fund this program by donating $1 to the Jackie Robinson Foundation for the sale of every MLB The Show 21 Collector’s Edition in the United States featuring Jackie Robinson on the cover through December 31st, 2021. Pre-orders for the Collector’s Editions are now open.
“Aligning with the Jackie Robinson Foundation to create this new scholarship combines our passion for baseball, community and video games and turns it into something bigger,” says Russell. “With their 98% graduation rate for students of color, we are excited to do our part to build a better bridge for teenagers to live out their dreams in the gaming industry.”
The Jackie Robinson Foundation fulfills Robinson’s commitment to equal opportunity by providing scholarship awards and support services to motivated students throughout the country.
To find out more about the Jackie Robinson Foundation, please visit www.jackierobinson.org.