For today’s special edition of the Community Spotlight, Discord is honoring Black History Month by featuring some of our most exceptional community leaders. Every server in today’s post was founded for different reasons, but all provide their users a place to share and connect with one another.
Giving people a place to belong is a powerful act of creation — and one which we are proud to celebrate.
Evermore’s “Afro Arts Avenue”
When artist Evermore was looking for a place to share his work, he found a pattern of toxicity and hostility towards Black creators in popular fandoms and communities. Horror stories of creators hounded for an online profile or a Black OC abounded. That’s why he took matters into his own hands, founding the Afro Arts Avenue: a predominantly Black/LGBT server focused on socializing, connecting, and helping each other grow in their own way.
Even though the server has been active for only half a year, Evermore says he’s very hopeful for the future. Already he’s seeing creators sharing themselves more freely, happily, and unselfconsciously. “It was just a joy watching everyone chat with each other, making friends, and stuff,” says Evermore. “That’s all I wanted from this.”
Cy’s “Nerd Army”
Cy may not have started out with an army, but over the course of his Twitch streaming career, he’s certainly built one. That’s why he’s given the fans and followers of his channel CyFy a new home on Discord: a server just for the peaceful, positive folks known as the Nerd Army.
“I felt like just streaming wasn’t enough and I needed to connect with the community that was growing from streaming. I started it up after streaming for a little over a year on Twitch. It’s a place you can come to feel uplifted when you are disheartened.”
The community’s been going strong for over five years, but new arrivals are welcomed with open arms. One of Cy’s favorite things about the server is how friendly it is to recent arrivals, plying them with invites to game and movie nights, making sure they feel right at home. The Nerd Army always has room for more recruits.
PleasantlyTwstd’s “The Wine Cellar”
Making your server a genuinely welcoming place is more than a surface-level commitment. It isn’t just a matter of waving hello: it’s about building a place where users are safe, valued, and heard. PleasantlyTwstd has put in the work, and the result is The Wine Cellar: a bold, beautiful, and supportive home for a wide and growing community.
PleasantlyTwstd (or Vanessa) describes The Wine Cellar as a place that builds up and supports marginalized people everywhere. It’s both a safe haven and a platform for POCs, people with disabilities, neurodivergent users, members of the LGBTQIAP+ community, and anyone else looking for a place to belong. In The Wine Celler, they “make it clear that marginalized people are out here and we don’t (and absolutely SHOULDN’T) have to hide — I want to see more of US in the limelight!”
“I’m very open and vocal about the things I do/don’t represent, and the things I do/don’t tolerate. It usually sets the tone and the community reflects/emulates that: we do no harm, but we also take no sh*t. We make new members feel welcome with laughter, joy, goofiness, and wine… but also a commitment to their safety and growth not just as fellow content creators and freelancers, but also as people.”
Once they become a part of the community, new members pay that attitude forward. After getting placement on the Twitch front page, Vanessa woke up the following day to a breathtaking #general chat: an outpouring of love and appreciation for new members, all of whom were grateful for finding such a “warm, welcoming, and safe space.”
If you’re looking for the same warm welcome, don’t wait any longer. The wine is optional; the support of the community isn’t.
Keekeexbabyy’s “Kitty Gang”
At first, all Shakeema (who streams on her Twitch channel “keekeexbabyy”) wanted was a place for her viewers to hang out after her streams. What she ended up building was more than that: an inclusive space that covers topics ranging from gaming to anime and so much more. It’s all in a day’s work for the members of the Kitty Gang.
When the show’s over for the day, the Kitty Gang community come out to relax, play some games, and watch stuff together in voice chat. The vibe is kind of like when you leave a movie theater and your friends want to hang out afterward… only here, the movie stars are there hanging out with you.
While they don’t have an exact favorite moment to share, keekee says the best part of running the Kitty Gang is “just overall watching the community grow and watching everyone interact. It’s beautiful to see I am building not only such an amazing space but community of people, even when I am not present.” In other words, every moment is the best moment. If that makes you want to join the clowder yourself, you’re not the only one.
Cloudie’s “Cloudie & The Squall”
Within a self-proclaimed “cluster bomb of memes” lies a community founded around gamers and creators. The server came together around founder Cloudie so quickly, and with such a thundering surge of energy and goodwill, that it earned its stormy name overnight: Cloudie & The Squall. It’s a community so welcoming, even complete strangers wandering in feel like long-time lurkers in hours.
“Every morning when I wake up and open Discord to see the members saying good morning to people they only met the day before is nice. It makes me feel almost like I’m waking up to my own slumber party & greeting the community.”
How do you end up with this kind of energy? Well, the energy you bring is important: setting a positive example means getting positive results. Cloudie specifically calls out the moderation team for helping to keep things smooth. (Mods are pretty great, ya know?) But at the end of the day, like any thriving community, it’s a group effort.
Sound like your kind of place? Answer the Squall Call.
LaTia’s “New Gamemaster Month”
Interested in running tabletop roleplaying games for your friends and family, but intimidated by all the charts, tables, and encyclopedia-length rulebooks? A good teacher makes all the difference, and that’s just what you’ll find in the New Gamemaster Month community.
Run by Monte Cook Games on a Discord server owned by LaTia Jacquise, New Gamemaster Month takes place every January. Its goal is to help rookies become tabletop champions through inspiration, advice, and some good ol’ step-by-step guidance to guide you on a path to success. That said, the server’s good for tips, tricks, and success strategies all year round.
“We made sure that representatives from each RPG publisher as well as experienced GMs for each RPG system were invited to be able to field any questions that the new GMs might have, as well as channels for asking general questions and sharing resources. Reading the success stories of first games completed is really rewarding; all the GMs are excited to have run their games and are eager to run more!”
If you happen to run into any mishaps along the way, the community’s robust player Code of Conduct ensures that everyone’s potential issues will be addressed fairly and swiftly. By the time February rolls around, you might be changing your server role from New GM to Experienced!
If you’ve been around the internet since the mid-2000s, you’ve probably lost a few hours (or days) to Greg McLeod and his viral studio sensation, McLeodGaming. They’re the independent developers responsible for the fan-made fighting game Super Smash Flash, puzzle platformer Yeah Jam Fury: U Me, Everybody! and upcoming Kickstarter success Fraymakers. Needless to say, they’ve got a lot of fans, and those fans need a place to swap strats and catch the latest news.
For smiley block enthusiasts and party brawl connoisseurs, the hangout of choice is the official McLeodGaming community. From deep-dives into each SSF character to the latest updates on the progress of Fraymakers, it’s a fighting game fan’s paradise. Super Smash Flash and Fraymakers thrive off of community support and contributions, and open communication and collaboration is a perfect fit for the sorts of games Greg’s studio works on.
It’s a friendly paradise too — Greg says that many of the server moderators have already been part of the community for years. It’s part of why the community feels so much like a family.
“We do everything we can to foster an environment that’s safe and family-friendly. Video gaming should be about fun, and that’s the one interest that all community members have in common! We’re also very open to community feedback for our games, so our server acts as a direct line of communication between players and devs in that way.”
To some, it’s all about improving skills. To others, it’s a place to collaborate with the many in-server game dev teams that have sprouted throughout the community’s life. For everybody: it’s home.
If you’ve ever wanted to run a community as great as these, we recently released a guide: Fostering a Thriving, Partner-Worthy Community on Discord. It’s an excellent resource for taking your server to the next level.
Don’t know where to start? Watch our blog: we’re working on additional guides for server beginners and best practices that can help everyone, even those who aren’t looking towards the Partner Program. For server moderators, the Discord Moderator Academy is a great place to enrich your mod abilities.
We also encourage you to take a look at our blog post containing Resources for Empowering Black Communities. While Black History Month is specifically during February, the fight for equality doesn’t stop after the month is over. Do what you can to support, wherever and whenever you can.