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My Statement on Black Lives Matter & Commitment to Change

Plain and simple: Black lives matter. This is not political, this is not attention-seeking. It is just, it is right, and it is true.

So, why did it take me so long to make this statement, and why am I even making one at all?

My initial concern was to not come across as pandering during a time of intense grief and pain, but the more I see other designers, publishers, artists, content creators, and players from every background lend their voices to the rising chorus against injustice, I’ve realized that being a silent supporter is harmful and wrong. Even if my voice is relatively minuscule and my influence next to nothing — with not even a published game to my name — I understand now that the cost of inaction means one more brick stays in the wall. Whereas action can lead to bringing the wall down, brick by brick.

However, statements alone are not always enough. I’ve been considering where I could make an impact that counts, so I’ve made two donations to local community organizations in the Seattle area: $100 to the Africatown Community Land Trust’s King County Equity Now campaign and $100 to Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County. Beyond that, I will be actively seeking to hire more BIPOC freelance illustrators, designers, writers, and other industry professionals while developing Rise of the Gods, and any future titles published by Dragonwatt Games.

I encourage others who like me are in a position to do so to support our BIPOC colleagues, friends, family, and the community at large however possible, whether that be through charitable donations, contributions made in time and person, and/or substantive efforts to boost the profiles of black gaming professionals. Together, we can take steps to create a more equitable and welcoming gaming community, and through that, tear out racism from its roots.

It’s well past time we who benefit from the pervasive legacy of racism hold each other accountable and do what’s in our power to end it. I intend to keep my promise, and I hope you will hold me to that.

Please take care of each other and thank you for reading.

Derek