People of Crypto Lab (POC) and The Sandbox to debut the first diversity, equity and inclusivity hub in the metaverse

The Sandbox will collaborate with newly launched People of Crypto Lab (POC) on the Valley of Belonging, the first-ever diversity, equity, and inclusivity hub in the metaverse. The new hub will launch 24 June 2022 during a special “Belonging Week” event where The Sandbox will open ahead of its Alpha Season 3 to celebrate our differences, boldy reaffirming the importance of an equitable Web3. POC aims to build a ‘cultureverse’ while investing in and amplifying creators and communities with diverse stories, teams, and projects that represent black and brown women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ creators, developers, and brands.

POC will onboard brands to build metaverse projects and movements that drive cultural awareness and education. Global cosmetics powerhouse, NYX Professional Makeup, will be the first cosmetics brand to integrate into The Sandbox and kick off a new wave of consumer onboarding and education in Web3 via #MetaPride. NYX Cosmetics and POC Lab will celebrate Pride Month, highlighting that makeup has no gender via a non-binary NFT avatar collection featuring voxelized makeup looks for each group represented in the Progress Pride flag.

The 8,430 avatar NFT drop, which will mint on 17 June, is representative of the estimated 84.3% global majority population of communities of color & LGBTQIA+. In one of the most diverse collections available, avatar traits will incorporate over 36 skin shades, every ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identification, celebrating our differences ranging from different abilities like prosthetic limbs to cultural identifiers like the hijab. NYX Professional Makeup is donating 100% of its proceeds from the sale of the avatar NFTs to the Los Angeles LGBT Center, amounting to $50,000.

“There has never been a more important time to build a safe space that welcomes all given the rising discrimation against LGBTQIA+ and other minorities,” says gay and South Asian POC Lab co-founder, Akbar Hamid. “As someone who has had to hide my real identity, I want to help build Web3 as a place that allows marginalized communities to feel represented and not left behind. We are proud to have NYX Cosmetics as a partner that shares our mission.”

Designed by top game developer Hermit Crab Studio, POC brings imagination, wonder, creativity, and freedom of expression to its magical reinterpretation of a diversity, equity, and inclusivity center as a colorful ‘Valley of Belonging’. Visitors are free to be whomever they choose, access a safe space, and celebrate pride 365 days a year, no matter where they may be located in the world. POC Lab will feature Drag Queen non-player characters (NPCs) as well as NPCs in wheelchairs guiding players through the game experience.

“Culture drives commerce, so Web3 can only scale if diversity and inclusion are rooted in the foundation of what is being built. Black and brown women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ have an immense combined spending power and unprecedented cultural influence,” says black and neurodiverse co-founder of POC Lab, Simone Berry. “We need to actively onboard these communities in order to ensure they get an equitable, profitable future for Web3.”

“Our vision for The Sandbox metaverse is to create a continuous shared digital space where worlds and brands collide to make a place where everyone is invited to participate, engage, create, and play,” adds Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox. “Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential in a truly open metaverse. Rather than replicating the biases and inequality of the real world, the metaverse must break barriers and forge an inclusive, welcoming global community.”

The Sandbox ‘Belonging Week’ includes additional communities celebrating pride including MetaPride Land, World of Women (WoW), Blond:ish, and more.

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