PRISM: Creating safe spaces for our peoplePosted: 21 Nov 2023
Guest post by Alif Trevethan, Inclusion and Belonging Manager at Sumo Group, one of our Level Up partners.
In 2021, Sumo Group launched its internal Inclusion and Belonging community, PRISM. What started as a small, ambitious group passionate about diversity in the games industry has evolved into a 350+ strong community safe space full of inspiring people dedicated to creating meaningful change.
PRISM is a space for underrepresented and/or marginalised people to find community, resources and connection, and be part of active change across all of Sumo’s studios. It is also a place where our marginalised people can find a safe space for meaningful discussion, transparency and kindness – which we need now more than ever.
In a world of constant hard headlines, political unrest and threats to marginalised people, PRISM is somewhere our people can find safety and solace in community.
What is PRISM?
PRISM is many things, but ultimately it helps Sumo foster an environment where everyone feels safe, welcome and represented.
PRISM houses four main community streams – CHROMATIC (Underrepresented Ethnicities), IRIDIAN (LGBTQ+), ULTRAVIOLET (Marginalised Genders) and WAVELENGTH (Ability & Wellbeing), and each has cultivated an incredible, engaged community. They’re able to openly discuss topics, ask questions or raise concerns in a safe and understanding environment, meet new people and find community.
These streams are accessible for anyone within Sumo to join regardless of if they are a member of that community – welcoming allies to these streams means our people have the opportunity to learn and contribute.
Both CHROMATIC (Underrepresented Ethnicities) and ULTRAVIOLET (Women & Marginalised Genders) also have closed channels for members of their communities who may want to keep particularly difficult and personal discussion.
Each of these streams have Diversity Champions acting as compass points for their community. These passionate and insightful change-makers carry the feedback and concerns of their communities to Sumo leadership, and are able to encourage, instigate and – if needed – mediate difficult conversations.
Creating safe spaces
The world is so heavy. Between never-ending news and scrolling social media, people have little to no respite… and this can be a lot of weight to carry around all day, every day.
PRISM helped me find myself and let me feel less alone as I find my place in games. – Ladell – a Diversity Champion for the Chromatic stream
We spend large chunks of our lives in working environments, and PRISM has created a community of people able to have honest and meaningful conversations, provide resources and advice, and provide solace to one another. It’s more important than ever to create safe and understanding spaces for people to talk freely, seek support and connect with peers who understand and empathise with their situation. It’s not to say that understanding and empathy is lacking elsewhere, but that not every conversation is right for every room. PRISM is full of actively engaged, likeminded people and creates a space for people to share openly, express concern and be validated in their feelings when the world is so full of grief and disruption.
Finding connection at work
In addition, PRISM is an amazing space for connection. It’s been so heartwarming to see just how our PRISM members support and help each other. It can be hard for people (especially underrepresented folks) to find peers going through similar experiences, and I’m so proud of the space we’ve created for people to not only find community, but also access a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience. I’ve witnessed first-hand conversations in PRISM from folks looking to start the transition process but not knowing how to approach it at work, or people wanting to access a neurodiversity assessment but finding it overwhelming who have been met with so much love, support and useful, actionable steps and advice.
Education in community
With every conversation comes more learnings and as PRISM continues to grow, our amazing bank of resources does too! The possibility of education is always there, it’s always free and accessibility for everyone both on Teams and on our internal learning platform, and I cannot wait to see it continue to develop.
We are so lucky to have such an amazing bunch of people within PRISM, and their pure generosity of spirit and genuine love and support for the community makes me proud beyond belief.
“PRISM introduced me to other people like myself at a time when I needed that more than anything.” – Robyn – a Diversity Champion for the Iridian stream
Find our more about PRISMs journey here.