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Apple takes big steps to boost diversity in tech

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Apple has taken a series of what should be major steps to help dismantle some of the barriers faced by communities of color as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.

Knowledge is power

Understanding that education — and access to it — is critical to empower access to opportunity and make communities more resilient, Apple has announced:

  • Investment in the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
  • The launch of an Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit.
  • Venture capital funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs. 

Apple announced its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative in June 2019, part of its corporate response to global protests against the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others.

The scheme is led by Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social Initiatives, and sits beside wider efforts to improve diversity and inclusion across the company.

Writing in a statement, Jackson said:

“Every individual deserves equal access to opportunity regardless of skin color or zip code. 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.”

What Apple 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,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook “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.”

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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