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More than 250 social impact projects were submitted for the Unity for Humanity 2020 Grant. Applicants submitted for a chance at $25,000 USD in funding, plus mentorship and technical support from Unity. Read on to learn more about the program and the 5 projects selected and awarded.

Creators around the world are building powerful social impact innovations using Unity every day. The Unity for Humanity program is designed to empower and advance this critical work, and inspire more world-changing real time 3D (RT3D) innovations through a variety of creator programs. 

In October 2020, we opened a call for social impact projects made with Unity and received more than 250 submissions. A cross-functional team carefully reviewed and evaluated each project on the following criteria 1) inclusive representation of a diversity of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, 2) measurability of impact goals and calls to action, 3) creative usage of Unity, and 4) viability of the production and distribution plan. 

For the first time, Unity is distributing not one, but five grants to Unity creators who are using real-time 3D to connect us more deeply to our global society and help us see the world a bit differently. We are honored to support all of these changemakers in their storytelling journeys, inspiring us to make the world a better place. 

The next Unity for Humanity Grant will open for submissions on April 22 (Earth Day!) for environmentally focused projects. Subscribe to the Social Impact Mailing List to stay up to date on the next call for submissions, as well as other Unity for Humanity programs and opportunities. Read on to learn more about the five projects that were selected from the impressive pool of applicants: 

Ahi Kā Rangers

Ahi Kā Rangers is an ecological mobile game, led by a Māori (Indigenous peoples of New Zealand) team, designed to create more cheerleaders and activists for the planet. Using frameworks from the Māori  community, the creators work to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and increase science literacy and collaboration. 

In the game, players manage biomes and learn what is necessary to nurture and maintain them to advance through real-world scenarios. Players aid others in missions and have the opportunity to participate in live data collection missions, contributing to critical scientific research. Ahi Kā Rangers stands to educate and radically transform the world. Learn more about Ahi Kā Rangers.

Dot’s Home

Dot’s Home follows a young Black woman living in her grandmother’s Detroit home as she retraces moments in her family’s history where race, place, and home collide to present difficult choices, in the midst of redlining, urban renewal, and gentrification. 

Dot’s Home pushes for policies and introduces organizations working to undo historic patterns of racism and exclusion that have contributed to segregated cities. The creators see Dot’s Home as a tool for advancing tenants rights, rent control policies, racial equity training in housing organizations and more. Dot’s Home is an inspiring example of how the power of games can be leveraged to transform the narratives that shape our culture and society for a more equitable future. Learn more about Dot’s Home.

Future Aleppo

Future Aleppo is an interactive VR experience that allows children to rebuild their homes and cities that have been ravaged by war. The experience is inspired by Mohammed Kteish, who used fallen debris to construct a model of his city as it was being destroyed by bombings.These images were later converted, using Unity, into a fully immersive and interactive experience, preserving the city virtually and offering hope to citizens of Eastern Aleppo. The creators are now working with other youth from conflict zones and orphanages, empowering them to architect their own cities and homes, restoring agency and aiding in processing their trauma. Learn more about Future Aleppo.

Our America

Our America is a branching narrative virtual reality experience designed to educate the audience about being Black in America and preventing racial injustice and violence. The experience navigates overt and subtle racism through the lens of a simple commute for a father and son, that escalates into a life-or-death encounter. Players have multiple choices to make while playing to offer a fully unique perspective each time. 

Modeled after the creators’ personal experiences with racism, microaggressions, and police brutality, Our America aims to shed light on the many patterns of systematic racism, and also equip bystanders to act in situations of injustice, and also achieve greater collective understanding. Our America is an incredible example of the opportunities to teach empathy and advance an inclusive future. Learn more about Our America.

SAMUDRA

Finally, Samudra is an environmentally focused, hand-illustrated, 2D puzzle game that follows a child’s adventure across a polluted sea. Players encounter underwater creatures to uncover truths about “surface-dweller” actions causing the polluted deep-sea world. 

Purposefully designed without dialogue, Samudra is built to be accessible across lingual and auditory borders. Creators seek to educate younger audiences around the globe and inspire them to action through this effort. Samudra focuses specifically on educating about plastic waste as a part of the creators collaboration with the Indonesian activist circle to minimize plastic usage in Indonesia to  70% by 2025. Samudra is not only an imaginative game, but an educational and fundraising tool for environmental initiatives. 

Congratulations to all of the grant recipients and thank you to everyone who submitted to the 2020 call for submissions. More details about the 2021 Unity for Humanity Grant opening on April 22 will be announced soon, as well as the Unity for Humanity Rare Impact Challenge winners, new education resources, interactive workshops, and other opportunities you can take advantage of. We cannot wait to learn about new ways creators are using Unity for meaningful change!