Apple announced a series of new projects as part of its $ 100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color.
The big announcement mentioned yesterday concerns several projects including the Propel Center, a global hub of innovation and learning for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), a Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit and venture capital funding for black entrepreneurs.
“We are all responsible for the urgent work of building a fairer and more equitable world and these new projects send a clear signal of Apple’s commitment.“Said Tim Cook. “We are launching the latest REJI initiatives with partners across a wide range of industries and backgrounds – from students to teachers, developers to entrepreneurs, community leaders to justice advocates – working together to empower the communities that have borne the brunt of the racism and too long. We are honored to help realize this vision and to match our words and actions with the values of equity and inclusion that we have always valued at Apple.“.
The initiative builds on Apple’s work for promote racial equity in education, in the economy and criminal justice system, and is led by Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson.
“Everyone deserves equal access to opportunities regardless of skin color or zip codeJackson said. “For too long, communities of color have faced grave injustices and institutional barriers to pursue the American Dream, and we are proud to lend our voices and resources to build new engines of opportunity that empower, inspire and create meaningful change.“.
Apple is contributing $ 25 million to the Propel Center, designed to support the next generation of leaders of color by providing innovative curricula, technology support, career opportunities, and scholarship programs. The Propel Center will offer a wide range of educational pathways, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment arts, app development, augmented reality, design and creative arts, career preparation and entrepreneurship. Apple experts will help develop study programs and will provide ongoing mentoring and learning support, as well as internship opportunities.
Before the end of the year, Apple will also open an Apple Developer Academy in Detroit. The academy is designed to empower young color entrepreneurs, creators, and programmers, helping them cultivate the skills needed for jobs in the ever-growing iOS app economy. Launched in partnership with Michigan State University, Apple Developer Academy courses will be open to all Detroit students, regardless of their academic background or previous coding experience. The courses will be similar to those of the Apple Academy in Naples.
In addition, Apple announced two new ones investments to provide capital to businesses led by black entrepreneurs. The company will invest 10 million collars with Harlem Capital – a New York-based venture capital firm – to support its investments in 1,000 companies with black founders over the next 20 years. In addition to providing capital to black entrepreneurs, Harlem Capital will lend its expertise to promote access to economic opportunities in the US. The company will offer guidance and mentoring to Detroit Developer Academy students and Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers. Apple will also support Harlem Capital’s internship program, which focuses on opening doors for women of color.
The company will also invest $ 25 million in the Clear Vision Impact Fund by Siebert Williams Shank, which provides capital to small and medium-sized businesses, with an emphasis on companies led by people of color. The fund aims to support companies that operate or serve underserved markets and that promote inclusive growth initiatives.
Finally, Apple is making a contribution to the King Center, a memorial dedicated to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. to share his teachings and inspire new generations to carry on his unfinished business. Next week, Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter and The King Center CEO Dr. Bernice A. King will publish a call to action encouraging young people to return favors to their communities as part of the “Challenge for Change ”by Apple, a set of conversation guides and learning challenges on issues related to race and inequality.
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