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Apple announces major new Racial Equity and Justice Initiative

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  • Apple has just announced a major new Racial Equity and Justice initiative.

Apple has today announced a new Racial Equity and Justice initiative.

In a press release the company stated:

Cupertino, California — Apple today announced a set of major new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. These forward-looking and comprehensive efforts include the Propel Center, a first-of-its-kind global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); an Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit; and venture capital funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs. Together, Apple’s REJI commitments aim to expand opportunities for communities of color across the country and to help build the next generation of diverse leaders.

The initiative will include a new global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), as well as an Apple Developer Academy, and venture capital for Black and Brown entrepreneurs.

Apple CEO Tim Cook stated:

“We are all accountable to the urgent work of building a more just, more equitable world — and these new projects send a clear signal of Apple’s enduring commitment. We’re launching REJI’s latest initiatives with partners across a broad range of industries and backgrounds — from students to teachers, developers to entrepreneurs, and community organizers to justice advocates — working together to empower communities that have borne the brunt of racism and discrimination for far too long. We are honored to help bring this vision to bear, and to match our words and actions to the values of equity and inclusion we have always prized at Apple.”

The new commitments will build on Apple’s $100 million pledge announced last June following the killings of Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd among “countless others”. Apple says it will build on the work to advance racial equity in education, the economy, and the criminal justice system.

One such project is the building of a new Propel Center, the aforementioned hub for HBCUs:

Apple is working with Southern Company and a range of community stakeholders to support the launch of the Propel Center, a first-of-its-kind innovation and learning hub for the HBCU community. Apple’s $25 million contribution will enable the Propel Center to support HBCU students and faculty through a robust virtual platform, a physical campus in the historic Atlanta University Center, as well as on-campus activations at partner institutions.

The center will help support the next generation of leaders through innovative curricula, technology support, career opportunities, and fellowship programs.

Apple also plans to open a new Apple Developer Academy in Detroit later this year:

Later this year, Apple will open an Apple Developer Academy in Detroit — the first of its kind in the US. Detroit has a vibrant Black entrepreneur and developer community, with over 50,000 Black-owned businesses, according to US Census data. The academy is designed to empower young Black entrepreneurs, creators, and coders, helping them cultivate the skills necessary for jobs in the rapidly growing iOS app economy. Launched in collaboration with Michigan State University, Apple Developer Academy courses will be open to all learners across Detroit, regardless of their academic background or whether they have any previous coding experience.

Programs on offer will include a 30-day introductory program for those considering a career in app economy, as well as a 10-to-12 month program to help developers build their skills.

Apple also says it will make new investments in venture capital and banking projects that provide capital to minority-owned businesses, as well as $25 million in Siebert Williams Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund. Apple is also contributing to The King Center, a living memorial to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior:

Next week, Dr. King’s daughter and the CEO of The King Center, Dr. Bernice A. King, will issue a call to action encouraging young people to give back to their communities as part of Apple’s “Challenge for Change” series — a set of conversation guides and learning-based challenges on issues related to race and inequality.

You can read the full report here.

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