Last month, our Stratford Belong Arena had the pleasure of hosting the first ever Black Girl Gamers Pass The Pad event.

Panellists including Editor and Global Head of News at GameSpot Tamoor Hussain, esports FGC Commentator and Personality host on GinxTV, F-Word, Chicago based esports Journalist and Host Community Manager, Junae Bennet, as well as Host and Creator of GGR, Mr Midas, and lastly, Gamer and Account Executive at Indigo Pearl PR, Izzy Hagan - took questions from the audience, discussing diversity issues within both society and gaming - recounting their own experiences and offering advice for those wanting to start their journey into the gaming industry.

With Anthem also free to play in the arena, our guests were able to partake in both gaming and casual tournaments across different titles to win prizes. Jay-Ann Lopez who founded Black Girl Gamers, has successfully created an online community and provided a safe space for black women in gaming.

We took the opportunity to interview her on how Belong Arenas could help black women in gaming.

Do you think our arenas could help with changing stigma around black women in gaming by offering a safe space and a platform for your voice?

[I’m] so glad we’ve been able to work together, I think Belong offering a safe space for my platform and others is the way forward. We will generate interest and new narratives will be known – people and their stories and experiences can be heard – and moving forward, this is really what Pass the Pad is about – bringing people to Belong to understand that they also belong in gaming. Check out the full interview below with Jay-Ann Lopez, Yasmeen Ojeleye, Stephanie Ijoma and panellist, Mr Midas. Thank you to everyone who took part, and the panellists for giving an incredible panel!




Jay-Ann Lopez

Yasmeen Ojeleye

Mr Midas

Stephanie Ijoma

Juane Bennett


Tamoor Hussain

Izzy Hagan

Stratford Belong Arena 

#Black Girl Gamers

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