Apple has announced a series of major projects as part of its new $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), designed to combat systemic racism in the US and worldwide.
Amongst the new announcements include investment in the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), as well as an Apple Developer Academy designed to support coding and technology education for those living in Detroit, and a venture capital fund for black and brown entrepreneurs in the United States.
The company says that the new announcements will “expand opportunities for communities of color across the country and to help build the next generation of diverse leaders.”
Speaking of the announcements, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said: “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’s REJI scheme was first announced in June 2020, in the midst of the #BlackLivesMatter protests around the world, and is designed to build on Apple’s work to improve racial equity in education and the economy. The scheme is lead by Apple’s VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, and sees Apple work with a range of companies and community stakeholders to launch new initiatives and projects.
The big announcements:
- Apple will contribute $25 million to the Propel Center, which will support the next generation of diverse leaders. Apple employees will help to develop curricula and provide ongoing support and mentorship, as well as offer internship opportunities.
- Apple will open a dedicated Apple Developer Academy in Detroit to empower young black entrepreneurs and coders, and in collaboration with Michigan State University, will offer courses to all learners in Detroit, regardless of their previous experience.
- New investments in venture capital and banking, designed to support minority-owned businesses. Apple will invest $10 million with Harlem Capital to support 1,000 companies with diverse founders and ongoing support for their ventures.
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