Apple to challenge systemic racism, promote equity with REJI projects

Apple to challenge systemic racism, promote equity with REJI projects”

Apple has launched a set of new Racial Equality and Justice Initiative (REJI) projects to combat systemic racism. The company has promised to invest $10 million in Harlem Capital, an early-stage VC firm, so that it can better support companies with diverse founders. Apple expects 1,000 students each year.

Apple will also establish an app development academy in Detroit, its first in the United States.

"Apple is the flawless partner for us to help educate and prepare a diverse generation of coders, tech leaders and entrepreneurs, and Detroit - Michigan's innovative technology and premier urban hub - is the right location for this academy", MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. told The Detroit News.

That said, the questions posed by King weren't entirely out of context with the overall tone of Apple's announcement, which it turns out is a major expansion of its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative into several new projects.

"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", said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO in a statement. Now let's talk about where that money is going starting with the $25 million Apple has earmarked for the Propel Center, which is described as a "learning hub for the HBCU community".

"We are honored to help bring this vision to bear", he maintained, "and to match our words and actions to the values of equity and inclusion we have always prized at Apple". Experts from Apple will help develop curricula and provide ongoing mentorship and learning support, along with offering internship opportunities.

Credit PA

The company chose Detroit because the city has what they call a "vibrant Black entrepreneur and developer community, with over 50,000 Black-owned businesses".

"There's a lack of diversity among venture capital and banking funders", Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, told Reuters.

The Apple Developer Academy is open to students 18 and older regardless of skill level, coding experience, or academic background.

The first of the two programs is described as a 30-day introductory program for those considering careers in app development.

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. The full academy program is an intensive 10- to 12-month program that will help aspiring developers build the skills needed to participate in the iOS app economy, and even start their own businesses. In addition to providing capital to entrepreneurs of color, Harlem Capital will also lend its expertise to Apple's broader efforts to advance access to economic opportunity. Finally, Apple will be making an undisclosed contribution to The King Center, a living memorial to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This is the latest demonstration of how serious Apple is about supporting these efforts.

More news: Dr. Dre Discharged from Hospital After Brain Aneurysm

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