The highly anticipated Marvel Studios release Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sees Letitia Wright’s tech genius Shuri take center stage. And as young women and other STEM hopefuls look up to this new role model, Microsoft and Marvel Studios have joined forces to push the power of her example even further.
On November 3rd, the two companies invited journalists, creators, and community leaders to the Microsoft Experience Center in New York to reflect over Shuri’s example and celebrate the real world efforts of women in tech.
The evening began with a special video from Letitia Wright herself emphasizing the power of the Black Panther story to inspire. After this, Editor-at-Large at PEOPLE
Rubenstein guided the panelists through reflections on each of their journeys into the tech world, and the identify-based struggles that involved. The women brought up their successes, their challenges, and the role models that lifted them up throughout, much like Shuri would be able to do, now, for so many.
Additionally, as Rubenstein called out, Microsoft and Marvel Studios’ efforts around maximizing the impact of the new film would not end here. The layered collaboration also includes community theater buyouts with local content creators in order to bring the film to under-resourced communities, a dazzling drone performance in the night sky, the first ever “Wakandan HBCU Lecture” delivered by Professor Jacoby DuBose at Howard University, and a new, easy to follow coding curriculum teaching youth powerful tech skills via making their very own Black Panther video game.
But of course, the star of the event sat on its pedestal to the left of Rubenstein: a custom designed Xbox Series X stylized with patterns, controllers, and charging stations all crafted to evoke the iconic Black Panther Wakandan salute. The set itself is both part and exemplary of this entire initiative and the power sitting behind the Black Panther symbol. And so that is why Microsoft and Marvel Studios plan to hand it over to a few lucky winners via a special Twitter giveaway.
The first Black Panther film met not only critical and commercial success, but set off a cultural wave that reverberates throughout the world still today. And now, the sequel is poised to expand that impact even further, this time shining an even brighter light on women of color who wish to become tech leaders and warriors in their own ways.
This collaboration then, hopes to just nudge all that along.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in theaters. The film stars Letitia Wright, Tenoch Huerta, and Angela Bassett and is directed by Ryan Coogler.
Microsoft’s giveaway contest for the custom Black Panther Xbox Series X is now active and ends on December 1st. See here for details on how to submit via Twitter for a chance to win.
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