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Oculus announced today a substantial financial commitment to help bring new, diverse talent into the world of virtual reality development.
Ebony Peay Ramirez, Oculus head of diversity said at Oculus Connect in San Jose today, "Oculus is committing $10 million to diverse programs for VR. We're going to increase funding for Oculus Launchpad, VR for Good, and create new programs like the Diverse Filmmakers Project."
VR, and tech overall, has had to acknowledge the demographic holes in its recruitment pools. Oculus Launchpad, announced in April this year, is Oculus’ own initiative to support inclusivity.
The announcement of the diversity commitment comes after Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey was reported to be funding pro-Trump internet trolls – a group not exactly known for pro-diversity initiatives (Ramirez did not link the new diversity iniative to recent events). Luckey was absent from Oculus Connect’s presentation stage today, and the recent meme-funding controversy, unsurprisingly, went mostly unmentioned.
An Oculus executive has confirmed to Polygon that Luckey decided not to attend Oculus Connect "because he would be a distraction."