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Community Spotlight:
Blacks at Xbox


Celebrating great communities at Xbox

Community is an important part of the gaming experience and fandom for many players. Community is also a vital part of the cultural experience for many people who identify as Black and/or of African descent. In 2015, we formed the Blacks at Xbox employee community as a way of meeting one another across the many buildings Team Xbox inhabits. Our shared blackness does not make us all the same, of course – we come from a variety of cities (and countries), socioeconomic backgrounds, and professional experiences – but we have a common mission: to connect with and uplift the black community within the gaming industry.

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A true pioneer

Last year we announced the Jerry Lawson Grant for Career Development, which aims to help people who identify as black and/or of African descent. The grant is named for Gerald A. “Jerry” Lawson, one of the first African American engineers in the video game industry and the inventor of the Channel-F gaming console.

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Game changers spotlight

Meet some members of Blacks at Xbox who have played crucial roles in getting Xbox where it is today.

  • James Lewis
  • Paul May
  • Jean-Emile Elien
  • Aaron-Michael Blackman

Cierra McDonald

Cierra is a strong voice in the Xbox Community. Whether behind the microphone at a developer conference or her favorite karaoke venue, her voice rings clearly. She uses that voice to spread the word of developer education, pairing it with a keen ear to ensure that developers have the information and structure they need to develop within the Microsoft gaming ecosystem. While education is her latest hit you can also hear echoes of her past melodies in Xbox Achievements, which she owned for five years. With 15 years at Microsoft Cierra has racked up more than a few quotables.

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