Today, Apple has launched a set of major new projects as part of its ‘Racial Equity and Justice Initiative’ against systemic racism in the United States of America. With a $100 million pledge, the Cupertino tech giant will build first-of-its-kind global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, an Apple Developer Academy in Detriot, and venture capital funding for black and brown entrepreneurs.
Apple has been working on providing educational opportunities to communities of color to excel in various fields. Previously, Apple expanded the educational partnership with 10 more Historically Block Colleges and Universities. Recently, the company quietly rolled out the Launch@Apple mentorship program for first-generation college students.
Paving the way to diminish systemic barriers, Apple challenges systemic racism by providing opportunities and fighting injustice faced by communities of color. Apple CEO, Tim Cook said that,
“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.”
Apple challenges systemic racism for racial equity in the United States
Under the new ‘Racial Equity and Justice Initiative’ projects, Apple will build educational hubs for students and provide funds to entrepreneurs.
- Apple will invest $25 million to establish a ‘first-of-its-kind’ Propel Center in the Atlanta University Center and on-campus activations at partner institutions in Georgia. The new innovation and learning hub will support HBCU students and faculty through a “robust” virtual platform.
The center is designed to support the next generation of diverse leaders, providing innovative curricula, technology support, career opportunities, and fellowship programs. The Propel Center will offer a wide range of educational tracks, including AI and machine learning, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment arts, app development, augmented reality, design and creative arts, career preparation, and entrepreneurship. Experts from Apple will help develop curricula and provide ongoing mentorship and learning support, along with offering internship opportunities.
2. Later in 2021, Apple Developer Academy in Detriot will offer two programs: An introductory program for learners to understand app economy and guidance in becoming a developer, and a full academy program for aspiring developers to understand the iOS app economy and set-up their own businesses. Expected to enroll 1,000 students annually, the curriculum will “covers coding, design, marketing, and professional skills.”
3. Apple has committed $35 million to eliminate systemic barriers to access and funding faced by colored entrepreneurs.
- It will invest $10 million in the funding partnership with Harlem Capital, a New York-based early-stage venture capital firm. Harlem Capital will provide investment to entrepreneurs of color, guide, and mentor students at the Detroit Developer Academy and participants in Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers.
- $25 million will be invested in Siebert Willaims Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund to provide money to small and medium-size businesses in underserved markets.
In addition, Apple is also contributing to The King Center, “a living memorial to the legacy of Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. to share his teachings and inspire new generations to carry forward his unfinished work.”
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.
Last June, Apple announced REJI in the wake of protests around the world following the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others. The initiative builds on Apple’s work to advance racial equity in education, the economy, and the criminal justice system, and is led by Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson. REJI complements Apple’s internal efforts to improve diversity and inclusion at every level of the company.
In an interview with CBS, Apple CEO, Tim Cook discussed the efforts by his company to address racial discrimination in the United States faced by Black and Brown communities and now Apple challenges systemic racism by providing educational and investment opportunities.