At Facebook, Ennis leads the AR/VR team’s inclusion strategy and execution with consumers and developers. “We’re lucky enough to be present in an era where tech has become such a huge catalyst in changing the world for good!” she says. “This is why it’s even more critical and important to ensure we’re encouraging the growth of AR and VR in inclusive ways.”
When it comes to Black history, Ennis draws inspiration from novelist, editor, and professor Toni Morrison. “She was unapologetically Black by dedicating her life to telling stories of the Black experience in America during times when it was not popular,” Ennis notes. “Many people aren’t aware that when she wrote her first novel, The Bluest Eye, she was a single mom of two who would wake up at 4:00 am every morning to write while her sons would sleep. This is just one example of her drive, passion, and commitment to her craft. She paved the way for generations of Black authors and creators after her to tell our stories.”
For her own part, Ennis advocates and pushes her colleagues to think differently in the hopes of removing barriers faced in today’s world.
“Black History is American History and should be acknowledged for the impact it’s played in all of our lives,” Ennis says. “We should also welcome the opportunity to celebrate such a rich history of diverse people, movements, and impact throughout the year, honoring the sacrifices made during Women’s History Month, Pride Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian Pacific Heritage Month, etc. I’m looking forward to a time when we won’t need the reminders to celebrate, educate, and honor year round.”
Hessvacio Hassan: Indie hustle
Fascinated by technology from an early age, Made in Brooklyn Games Co-Founder & Lead Developer Hessvacio Hassan actually spent his summers as a child in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. “One summer, I brought a Gameboy Color to share my with my Amish family, and everyone was blown away,” he recalls. “Just by a couple of pixels on a limited color palette, I could change a person’s entire perspective of the world. I saw how something as trivial as a bargain bin video game could affect people. I wasn’t sure how, but I knew I wanted to affect others like my experiences with games did for me.”