Black Lives Matter: Our Progress Update

The Roll20 Team

The Roll20 Team


Back in June, we made a statement: Black Lives Matter. To back that statement up, we made several commitments—to work with Black creators, to help uplift and support Black members of the tech industry at-large, to create change internally, and to make sure the initiative lives on in our work, beyond a single statement.

October is almost over, and with Roll20Con in the rearview mirror, we wanted to take this opportunity to update you on those initiatives and hold ourselves accountable for that progress.

In June, we committed to:

  1. Lift Black voices. We launched our guest blog, in part, to create a space for Black members of the tabletop community. Since then, we’ve had contributions to the guest blog from authors with diverse backgrounds and disciplines across the TTRPG community on a wide variety of topics, including representation. This includes Carl Pierre-Louis’s interview series as well as Leona Maple’s piece on Sensitivity Readers and how they can improve representation in games. But the work is just beginning. We’re actively working to recruit more writing from Black creators, and we’re always open for pitches. Writers can apply to be a part of our guest blog series through this link.

  2. Support Black content creators. Through our featured shows and the Roll20 Spotlight program, we’re working to support Black GMs, streamers, and content creators. To work towards this goal, we’ve added a number of shows and streams to Spotlight over the past quarter. Our recent programming at Roll20Con, too, was built with this mission in mind. Check out our Twitch channel to see some of these shows and streams. This work, too, continues, and we’re always looking for content creators to join our Spotlight program. You can apply here.

  3. Add artwork and games by Black creators to the Roll20 Marketplace. We’re still in the outreach phase of this commitment, but we have some progress we’d like to share. First, we’ve budgeted a dedicated number of work hours from our production team to make this commitment a reality. That means that our production team has set-aside hours devoted to adding artwork and games by Black creators to the Roll20 Marketplace. This is part of making good on our promise to take on the costs of putting work from Black creators on to the Marketplace to reduce the barrier to entry. Second, we’ve set an internal goal to have at least four games helmed by Black creators signed to appear on the marketplace by the end of 2020. At Roll20Con, we announced Companions’ Tale and Esper Genesis. Expect to see the first of these projects available on the Marketplace later this year.

  4. Create change internally. We’re revamping our internal Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racist employee education with the help of the McKensie Mack Group. We also mentioned in the post from June that we’d be adding a social justice expert to the Roll20 advisory board. We’re happy to announce we’re in the final stages of the interview process for this position.

  5. Match $50,000 in community fundraising. Our Tiltify campaign to benefit Code2040 is still ongoing! You can read this post to learn more about it, and you can donate here. We’re blown away by the support we saw from our community during Roll20Con, and we’re happy to help funnel that support towards Code2040 and their mission.

  6. Hold ourselves accountable. These quarterly public posts are our way of holding ourselves accountable for the commitments we made above. June is the end of quarter 2, and October is the start of Quarter 4—so you can expect the next update in early January.

Progress is a marathon, not a sprint, and statements necessitate action. We’ll continue our work now and into the future as we stand behind the fundamental belief that Black Lives Matter.

As always, thanks for playing with us.

The Roll20 Team Roll20

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