As part of Apple’s Community Education Initiative, Apple has added 10 more Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) regional coding centers in the United States. The aim of the initiative is to teach coding skills, invoke creativity, and offer workforce development opportunities for learners in particular from black and brown communities.
Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson said that the company is committed to achieving educational equity for communities of color. She said:
“We see this expansion of our Community Education Initiative and partnership with HBCUs as another step toward helping Black students realize their dreams and solve the problems of tomorrow.”
The Cupertino tech giant launched this educational program in 2019 based on “everyone can code and everyone can create curricula” for racially marginalized communities of color. As of writing, the initiative is extended to 24 locations in America for thousands of learners to gain knowledge of coding and app designing.
Apple’s Community Educational Initiative
In partnership with the Tennessee State University, Apple is expanding the HBCU’s initiative across the country by creating hubs that work to extend the coding and creativity learning to the local schools, governments, and other sections of the community. The university’s associate Vice President of SMART Global Technology Innovation Center and Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, Dr. Robbie Melton said:
“A hub is a core of empowerment that goes beyond the campus. It’s about going into the community, into the home, into businesses so that when people code, it becomes part of their lives and it’s helping them solve big problems”.
This year, Apple and Tennessee State University have included the following 10 new HBCU hubs:
- Arkansas Baptist College
- Central State University
- Claflin University
- Dillard University
- Fisk University
- Lawson State Community College
- Morehouse College
- Prairie View A&M University
- Southern University at Shreveport
- Tougaloo College.
For the past two years, Tennessee State University has been working with the iPhone maker to not only launch the coding and creativity initiative but also to expand it. The university is instrumental in training educational facilitators and supporting other institutions to successfully implement coding in their curriculum and exploring creative opportunities in their communities.
This year, Melton hopes to mitigate the adverse economic effects of COVID-19 and social injustice due to systematic racism by dissemination of knowledge to empower the communities of color with technological skills to come up with smart solutions. She also aims to double the number of colored women in technology.
Apple openly supported the civil rights movement for the Black community after the brutal murder of George Floyd in police custody, last month. CEO of the company, Tim Cook wrote an open letter in solidarity of the BLM protestors and at the WWDC 2020 announced Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative with $100 million commitment to offering educational and economic opportunities for communities of color.
The unfinished work of racial justice and equality call us all to account. Things must change, and Apple's committed to being a force for that change. Today, I'm proud to announce Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, with a $100 million commitment. pic.twitter.com/AoYafq2xlp
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 11, 2020
By the end of this summer, Apple wishes to double the number of HBCU hubs to include more and more schools to introduce coding to pupils of all ages to foster creative solutions to existing challenges and also to explore career opportunities. The company is already contributing by training and providing the necessary knowledge and skills to future world leaders. Read the complete press release note here.
This year’s #WWDC20 student developers are creating apps that do incredible things like help prepare for pandemics, reduce our carbon footprints and connect victims of sexual assault with resources they need. Amazing to see how they’re dreaming big and changing the world. pic.twitter.com/JfmmecC54P
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 23, 2020