Apple’s major new announcement for today is a set of new projects as a part of its$100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI). With these new projects, the company hopes to “dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color.”
As a part of this initiative, Apple will launch the Propel Center, a “global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities” along with an Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education. There will also be VC funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs as a part of this project. Apple will be contributing $25 million to the Propel Center that among other things will help build a physical campus in the historic Atlanta University Center.
“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. “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 had first announced REJI after the protests that followed due to the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and others. The Cupertino company will also be opening an Apple Developer Academy in Detroit to help and empower young Black entrepreneurs. The academy will offer two programs. The first one is a 30-day introductory program for anyone interested in the app economy career. The second one is a full-fledged academy program that will last for 10 to 12 months and help developers in learning the skills required for the iOS app economy.
Apple also announced investments in the VC and banking spaces. The first investment of $10 million to Harlem Capital will help the 1,000 companies over the next 20 years in which the latter has invested. Additionally, Apple will invest $25 million in Siebert Williams Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund that provides capital to small and medium-sized businesses that are primarily owned by minorities.