Last June, Apple committed $100 million to a Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI). Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, is leading the initiative. Today, Apple is sharing some of its work as part of the initiative.
“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 CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.
The company will contribute $25 million to the Propel Center, an innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. It is going to be both a virtual platform and a physical campus in the Atlanta University Center. Apple is sharing some early renderings of the new building (see above and below).
Students will be able to follow different educational tracks focused on artificial intelligence, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment, app development, augmented reality, design and creative arts and entrepreneurship. This isn’t just a monetary investment for Apple, as employees will help develop curricula and provide mentorship as well. There will be internship opportunities for students.
In downtown Detroit, the company will also open an Apple Developer Academy focused on young Black entrepreneurs. This is a collaborative effort with Michigan State University. It’ll be open to all learners across Detroit and teach valuable skills for entrepreneurs, creators and coders.
There will be two programs. A 30-day introductory program will help you learn more about app economy careers. And if you’re willing to dive deeper, there’s an intensive 10 to 12-month program. Apple is trying to reach 1,000 students per year with these two programs.
The third effort is focused on investment opportunities for Black and brown entrepreneurs. Apple will invest $10 million with Harlem Capital, a VC firm based in New York. There will be more collaboration between Harlem Capital and Apple down the road.
Apple is also investing $25 million in Siebert Williams Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund. Finally, Apple is making a contribution to The King Center.
As you can see, Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative is an ongoing effort that requires evaluating new opportunities constantly. The company isn’t just trying to give money to everyone. It is evaluating each opportunity individually to find the best collaboration.