Minority game makers ban together to pen an open letter to retailers urging commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Washington, DC (JULY 2020) – The Black Game Makers Association (BGMA) and Cards for All People co-founders, Latesha Williams and Jay Bobo, have united minority game makers across the country to bring light to the lack of diversity on retailers’ shelves.
“Wal-Mart has more than 700 stores that over-index, predominantly serves, Black Americans yet you cannot find toys and games for that audience on Wal-Mart shelves. This is why we are demanding a change for all underrepresented communities. Together, we are 49% of the US population yet the big game manufacturers do not make products for us and the retailers do not do business with us,” explains Jay Bobo.
“With everything transpiring in the world, from COVID-19 impacting minorities at a disproportionate rate and the injustices we are seeing throughout America; diversity and inclusion are more imperative than ever. Lack of representation in this sector of American business is why we started BGMA. Initiating this sort of dialogue to bring resources and education for both entrepreneurs and corporate entities will undoubtedly affect all members of the game community," says Lamont A. Harrell, II, CEO of Black Game Markers Association.
Multicultural toys and games help all to share their experiences and unite through play. They enhance our empathy and understanding of each other without divisiveness and malice. BGMA, Cards for All People and the 40 other brand signees demand retailers to commit to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and ask that they publicly commit to the following:
- Provide the same opportunities for buyer engagement as are afforded to non-minority owned brands such as Hasbro, Mattel, Asmodee & Spin Master
- Create dedicated shelf space for businesses that make products catering to people of color, women and LGBTQIA+ people
- Create programming that helps buyers learn about diverse products and communities they have little to no knowledge of
- Strengthen their existing commitments to our communities beyond cultural holidays and advertising
- Set a measurable, quantifiable financial investment goal and ensure transparency in reporting to demonstrate accountability to customers
"BGMA looks forward to working with big-box retailers and the greater game industry. We started our association to develop resources for all members of the community. Our hope is this initiative will give retailers an opportunity to support minority-owned businesses by purchasing their games giving American families additional chances to create memorable moments during these difficult times,” said Lamont A. Harrell, II.
“Our business with Target is an example of what inclusion looks like in the game space. Their resources for minority-owned businesses to learn and dialogue with buyers and executives have helped cultivate a relationship between Target and Cards For All People that creates revenue and inclusion simultaneously year-round, not just during Black History Month. Their support is a productive first start for others to perfect,” says Latesha Williams.
Consumers of color can no longer be ignored.
According to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data, from 2000 to 2018, 109 counties in 22 states, from California to Kansas to North Carolina, went from majority white to majority nonwhite. The number of multi-racial and ethnic minorities is growing and they expect retailers with locations in their communities to serve products that are representative of the growing diversity of the nation’s population.
Black Game Makers Association, Cards for All People, and the 40 other brand signees urge big-box retailers to initiate a conversation with minority-owned companies, distributors/consolidators, and toy and game trade associations to address the needs stated in the letter.
To read the full letter click, here.
About Black Game Makers Association.
The Black Game Makers Association is a diverse coalition of men and women from all around the globe and from all walks of life developing and producing exciting new games. Each of us is committed to bringing you high-quality entertainment through each game we create.
About Cards for All People.
An answer for the culturally curious, Cards For All People (CFAP) makes fun, nostalgia-filled card games that test knowledge of cultural milestones and moments. CFAP games aim to bring people of all types together through laughter and friendly debate. CFAP aims to make it easier for people to find great products that celebrate their backgrounds and experiences. CFAP games include Black Card Revoked, Girl’s Night Out, Lip Service with Angela Yee, Latino Card Revoked, and Gay Card Revoked.