In which I can’t get enough of typing the word Twitch into headlines. Much as I like Twitch, and I really do like Twitch, this one is a bit of an odd announcement in so much as they’re creating their own holiday. It’s for a good cause, granted.
Twitch just announced TwitchUnity which is going to be a site-wide holiday to celebrate the diversity of the Twitch community, while spreading a broader message about the importance of inclusivity. Which is pretty damn cool. On Friday, May 26, Twitch will encourage creators to engage with their viewers about how to maintain and improve diversity and inclusivity, while highlighting channels on the front page that exemplify a positive culture. Twitch will also provide users with a new global emote and channel graphics. They’re also making an exclusive T-shirt available and conducting a dance-a-thon with all proceeds going to charity.
Included in the release was a statement from Anna Prosser Robinson, the Lead Producer for Twitch Studios. “The commitment that many of our creators have made to inclusivity and diversity is what makes the Twitch community special. We recognize and value this characteristic so much that ‘Welcome everyone’ is written in our brand values,” she said. “The goal of TwitchUnity is to inspire discussion, positive action, and cultural growth in our community in order to affirm and continue to cultivate a diverse and inclusive experience.”
To go along with the event, Twitch will release a new global emote, “TwitchUnity,” for viewers to show support for creators in chat. Creators will also be able to download a graphics package, which includes a badge, channel overlay, and channel panel to show their commitment to the occasion. There is also a special edition TwitchUnity T-shirt available for purchase on TeeSpring with 100% of Twitch’s proceeds from those sales are going to Amnesty International in support of human rights worldwide. Which is pretty darn cool of Twitch.
In order to help creators plan their shows, Twitch is providing thoughts starters on its blog to ignite thoughtful conversations around diversity and inclusivity. This includes using the IRL vlogging category to discuss what TwitchUnity means to them and allow them to address topics such as:
- Tell us about a time that you were included in the Twitch community, and how it affected you?
- What do you want to say to someone who may be concerned they are unwelcome in the Twitch community?
- Why do you care about diversity and how do we benefit when our community is diverse?
- What message of encouragement and inclusion would you like to give viewers/creators?
To promote on-stream activities surrounding diversity and inclusion, creators are encouraged to broadcast to the TwitchUnity Community, which will go live on May 26.
Twitch staff will be celebrating the event as well on Twitch.tv/twitch with a TwitchUnity-themed episode of Twitch Weekly. That will then be followed by a three-hour dance-a-thon hosted by Twitch creator and Just Dance pro, LittleSiha, with all of the proceeds going to Amnesty International. Because they’re awesome.
Twitch are also hoping this will tie in well with that Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood marathon that they’ll be running simultaneously.
If nothing else, this holiday makes a damn good t-shirt.
But, I’m pretty sure it’ll do better than that. Maybe that’s just the small but somehow still hopeful part of me that gets excited by words like “Diversity” and “Inclusivity.” Shocker, I know.
The full list of creators who will be involved in Twitch Unity is below:
They’ve all come together to put on a preview video for you, so do take a moment to watch it.