"It is imperative that we continue the work of creating opportunities that will allow our children to thrive in the generations to come," said PCX Co-Founder Erich Thomas.
"Atlanta – Pharaoh's Conclave (PCX), Georgia's leading organization for diversity and inclusion in competitive video gaming, and the Thomas Family Fund are proud to announce a contribution of $160,000.00 to Morris Brown College in honor and memory of the family patriarch, Ronald Floyd Thomas (MBC 2002). The gift was designated to establish the Ronald Floyd Thomas Center for eSports and Innovation. The Morris Brown College Board of Trustees unanimously approved the decision to establish the center in October 2020.
Jakita O. Thomas, Ph.D. and Erich Thomas founded Pharaoh's Conclave (PCX) in 2017. PCX is a company that uses education and exposure to video gaming to address diversity and inclusion in the technology industry by leveraging eSports. They created the first high school state eSports championship in the United States, which they featured at DreamHack, the world's largest gaming lifestyle festival. Through PCX, the Thomases have exposed over 10,000 children across the country to eSports. They have awarded over $30,000.00 in college scholarships and guided youth and young adults in becoming eSports professionals. Their work in technology has most recently received non-dilutive funding of $100,000.00 from Google for Startups and financial support from the Stadium Neighborhood Community Trust.
PCX will now complete its "Cradle to Career" model with the opening of the Ronald Floyd Thomas Center for eSports and Innovation at Morris Brown College, the alma mater of Erich Thomas's father. The focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will help to address the lack of diversity in eSports and technology.
"When my husband, Ronald Floyd Thomas, entered Morris Brown College to complete the work on his degree, he fully embraced becoming a true "Brownite." Funding the establishment of the Ronald Floyd Thomas Center for eSports and Innovation at Morris Brown College is a fitting tribute to a man who valued education and the contributions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities to our culture and family. Morris Brown College, in the words of her Alma Mater, was "a welcome true to everyone until thy work was done." It is in keeping with his commitment to educational opportunity that a program exists to equip this generation of scholars with the skills to excel in STEM and be on the cutting edge of this new technology at—Dear Old Morris Brown," said Geri Thomas, Grant Advisor of the Thomas Family Fund.
"Google has provided us with a very unique opportunity to be the people on the ground doing the real work. My wife and I both grew up in Atlanta; we are both graduates of HBCUs, and are now watching the fourth generation of our family attend HBCUs. As a product of the Atlanta Public Schools System, I was inspired to teach and work with youth by graduates of HBCUs all throughout my life, many of whom were alumni of Morris Brown College. So it is imperative that we continue the work of creating opportunities that will allow our children to thrive in the generations to come," said Erich Thomas.
"I am so grateful for the gift from the Ronald Floyd Thomas family and Pharaoh's Conclave. This designated gift will help take our new eSports program to the next level. I am so excited that Morris Brown College can lead as Georgia's first State approved eSports Performance degree program. The institution has two tracks including a certificate and a degree. Additionally, high school students will be able to dual enroll and complete high school ith 24 college credit hours in eSports. Morris Brown will lead in eSports education and competitive gaming. This gift just catapulted us forward. We will immediately begin plans to remodel an area on campus into the Ronald Floyd Thomas Center for eSports and Innovation, which will include top notch eSports equipment. Moreover, we will begin recruiting the best gaming students to attend Morris Brown and compete competitively on our eSports team," said Dr. Kevin James, President of Morris Brown College.