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INTRODUCTION TO BLACK IS MAGIC
Posted in News on February 4, 2021
"Dawn brings a new day, and a new day brings hope." – Renewing Dawn
Our closest friends. Our most cherished personal triumphs. Our heartbreaking losses. Our overcome fears. There are many defining people, places, moments, and choices woven into the fabric of our lives that uniquely shape how we perceive and interact with the vast world around us. As we adventurers tread along our individual paths—filled with detours, shortcuts, challenges, and respites—our journeys find themselves intertwined, intersecting, converging and diverging with those of others.
This beautiful myriad of individual voyages is our "diversity."
"Inclusion" is our commitment to creating an environment where different paths are heard, welcomed, and enrich our collective knowledge and capabilities.
"Equity" is our commitment to actively addressing bias, harassment, and discrimination—all of which detract from our aspirations of inclusion.
My name is Jontelle Leyson-Smith, and I am humbly honored to serve as the first director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Wizards of the Coast. My mission is to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into our company culture, processes, and products. All journeys include (among many things) historical contexts to understand, challenges to overcome, and plans for a brighter future . . . and I'm excited to begin on that journey. In that spirit, I'm overjoyed to introduce something I'm personally elated for—Secret Lair: Black Is Magic.
Secret Lair: Black Is Magic, presented by game designer Sydney Adams, resonates with my soul. New cards will be revealed across February in celebration of Black History Month, with proceeds from the sale starting February 22 to be donated to Black Girls CODE. The first time I saw Secret Lair: Black Is Magic, my mind was flooded with memories of no-bake desserts with Grandma; trips to the corner deli with Grandpa; feelings of inadequacy in high school because I looked different from my peers; the strength of my mother and sister; and my growth as a youth to embrace my identity as a Black and Asian woman. I hope you also find (and share) personal connections with the release. The stories behind these cards are best told by the creator herself, and we'll share those over the next several weeks, too.
As for Wizards of the Coast's other plans for a brighter future? The Multiverse wasn't built in a day, and it continues to evolve now. We're hard at work strategizing, building, and executing programs and change across our company. This includes products to cultivate meaningful progress at Wizards of the Coast toward better diversity, equity, and inclusion. I look forward to sharing our efforts very soon—please stay tuned.
In the meantime, you'll find links below to Sydney's first reveal of some of the contents of Black Is Magic, as well as some of the more product-specific details. In "Designing Black Is Magic," Sydney shares the stories behind the cards she has selected—some quite personal—and celebrates the art created for this product by seven talented Black artists. We'll be adding more card reveals and stories the next two Tuesdays leading up to the preorder date of February 22.
Lastly (and certainly not least), thank you to all the fans for your insights, passion, and engagement. You are at the heart of everything we do.