Apple on Wednesday announced the latest phase of its $100 million initiative to tackle systemic racism and promote racial equality. Apple is among the handful of technology giants that have pledged to hire more Black workers and people of color to address inequality. In its latest move, Apple said it's launching a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), a developer academy in Detroit to support coding and tech education for minority students; and venture capital funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs. The Propel Center in Atlanta, pictured in a rendering above, will aim to bring coding and career opportunities to HBCU campuses and communities across the US. As part of the company's ongoing partnerships with HBCUs, Apple said it's also establishing two new grants to support HBCU engineering programs.
Apple announced several new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) on Wednesday, including the funding of a 50,000-square foot learning center in Atlanta. The company first made the initiative public at its Worldwide Developer Conference back in June. In the wake of the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and massive protests in the U.S., Cook used the livestream to talk about Apple's plan for fighting racial injustice. The unfinished work of racial justice and equality call us all to account. Things must change, and Apple's committed to being a force for that change.
Apple is expanding its coding partnership with historically black colleges and universities as big tech firms face increased scrutiny surrounding diversity and inclusion. The iPhone giant said Thursday that it's adding 10 more HBCUs to its year-old community education program meant to create opportunities for people seeking to learn coding skills. The announcement comes a month after the company launched a racial equality initiative aimed at communities of color. Under the expansion into more HBCUs, Apple will give an increasing number of people of color "the building blocks of coding," the company said in a press release. Coding is the infrastructure that makes digital technologies operate, and more Black programmers put more Black people in the running for in-demand, high-paying jobs tech jobs.
Apple has shed more light on its $100 million pledge to improve racial equity. Today, the company announced that it will be making a $25 million contribution to the Propel Center, a learning hub designed for members of the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). It will include a physical campus at the Atlanta University Center, a virtual platform for remote learning and events at partner institutions' campuses. In a press release, Apple said the Propel Center will teach a variety of subjects including AI and machine learning, app development, augmented reality, creative arts and entrepreneurship. Apple employees will help design the curricula and offer mentorship opportunities, including internships.
Apple has announced the latest program under the umbrella of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. Founders and teams from 13 app companies are participating in the first Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers. The camp aims to help developers advance their technical skills, gain one-to-one support at code level from Apple engineers and obtain mentorship and insights from leaders at the company. Apple is also working with venture capital firm Harlem Capital, which invests in founders from diverse backgrounds, to provide guidance and mentorship. Among those taking part in the camp are David Bosun-Arebuwa, whose B3am app uses an iPhone camera and machine learning to recognize gym equipment and explain how it's used, and Adam Taylor, founder and sole developer of the Black app, which surfaces "culturally relevant and multifaceted news" for Black people.