Apple details plans to spend $100M to boost racial equity

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Apple on Wednesday unveiled plans to create a hub for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and a coding academy based in Detroit as part of the tech giant’s previously announced $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. 

Apple announced the $100 million initiative aimed at dismantling systemic barriers faced by communities of color in June, after nationwide protests sprung up over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

The tech giant said Wednesday that part of the fund will be used to create the Propel Center, a learning hub for the HBCU community that will provide technology support, career opportunities and fellowship programs. The center will have a virtual platform, as well as a physical campus at the Atlanta University Center. 

Apple’s racial justice initiative will also help fund an Apple Developer Academy in Detroit later this year, according to the announcement. The academy is the first of its kind in the U.S. and will offer two programs aimed at helping aspiring developers: a 30-day introductory program and a full intensive 10- to 12-month program. 

“Every individual deserves equal access to opportunity regardless of skin color or zip code,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives. 

Jackson is leading Apple’s racial justice initiative. 

“For too long, communities of color have faced gross injustices and institutional barriers to their pursuit of 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,” Jackson added. 

Additionally, Apple said it is investing $10 million in Harlem Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm based in New York, to support investments in 1,000 companies with diverse founders over the next year, according to the announcement. 

The firm will offer guidance and mentorship to students at Apple’s Detroit Developer Academy, Apple said. 

The company also said it is investing $25 million in Siebert Williams Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund, which provides capital to small- and medium-sized businesses, with an emphasis on minority-owned companies.

Tags Apple Apple Inc. Historically black colleges and universities racial inequality Science and technology in the United States

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