Reality Labs

Partnering with Girls Who Code and the Chadwick Boseman Foundation for the Arts to support Black women creators

November 28, 2022

Today, we announced a new augmented reality (AR) effect created in collaboration with Girls Who Code and The Chadwick Boseman Foundation for the Arts (CBFA) in honor of actor, director, writer, and producer Chadwick A. Boseman.

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“The Crown” AR effect, which can be used on Instagram and Facebook, draws inspiration from the foundation’s logo and is representative of the Global African Diaspora. The effect can be found on both the Girls Who Code and The Chadwick Boseman Foundation for the Arts Instagram profiles, with the goal of driving awareness and fundraising to the foundation.

This is the latest in a series of Girls Who Code and Meta initiatives to support young women of color as they explore different pathways into the tech industry and the arts by introducing them to the fundamentals of AR content development and future prospects that exist within AR. It follows our earlier collaboration with Girls Who Code, RCA Records, and Doja Cat.

Opportunities in AR

AR is one of the fastest-growing tech industry sectors used broadly across communication, shopping, entertainment, creative expression, and more. It’s expected to become a $98 billion market by 2028, and as it grows, Meta is committed to empowering young women with the tools they need to find success in the field.

Today, mobile AR offers an immersive, interactive way for people to connect with friends, express their perspectives, and explore storytelling in a more personal way. For artists and entertainers, AR effects also offer an engaging way to extend their craft and bring their community closer together.

AR creation technologies like Meta Spark can help create equity in the metaverse and provide pathways for young women to explore their interests in entertainment and expand their skill sets.

From AR effect to effecting social change

Girls Who Code selected four young coders and creators from Howard University (Boseman’s alma mater) — Khendra Phillips, Andria Joseph, Violet Edwards, and Latanya Khissy — and gave them unprecedented access to AR content development tools and resources. Over several weeks, Meta introduced them to the potential of AR using Meta Spark Studio through hands-on training and mentorship with the guidance of Meta Spark Partner and Curriculum Educator Ommy Akhe.

The Meta Spark curriculum outlined the journey of a professional AR developer. From interpreting the creative brief provided by CBFA to executing a well-crafted AR experience using a variety of capabilities to bring 2D campaign elements to life, the women walked away with a strong understanding of Meta Spark Studio and the potential of AR as a career in the future.

“Girls Who Code students are some of the most powerful and creative changemakers in the world today, and this effect is yet another example of what they can achieve when they are given a seat at the table in the tech industry,” says Tarika Barrett, CEO of Girls Who Code. “We’re grateful to Meta and The Chadwick Boseman Foundation for their support of Black students and creators and are thrilled that members of our community were able to participate in this one-of-a-kind experience.”

“We are very pleased that Howard University students were able to participate in yet another creative expression paying tribute to their fellow bison Chadwick Boseman,” says Phylicia Rashad, Dean of the Howard University Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. “Howard University has continued to partner with The Chadwick Boseman Foundation in preserving and deepening Chadwick Boseman’s remarkable legacy. This partnership with Girls Who Code and Meta is a unique extension of this work which we are proud to be a part of.”

We hope this experience will inspire these four young women to continue pursuing AR content creation while also exposing others to the unique possibilities of AR as an artistic platform. By highlighting diverse creators, our goal is to improve representation in STEAM fields over time.

Giving Back

November kicks off Giving Season, a time that inspires millions of people worldwide to spread kindness, volunteer, and raise money for the causes they care about. This year, #GivingTuesday falls on November 29, today, which also happens to be Chadwick Boseman’s birthday.

We’re honored to support CBFA’s work to empower a new generation of young Black artists across the visual and performing arts, and Girls Who Code’s work to provide the most marginalized students with access to tech education and career support. We hope this collaboration marks an important step to help shape the next generation of cultural leaders in tech and entertainment.

You can support The Chadwick Boseman Foundation for the Arts and its mission to support the intellectual, spiritual, and artistic growth of Black storytellers by making an online donation—100% of the funds raised on Instagram and Facebook go directly to the nonprofit. You can also support Girls Who Code and its mission to close the gender gap in technology by making an online donation.

Check out our #GivingTuesday blog post to learn about more ways to support nonprofits on Facebook.

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