Apple has launched a fresh fund for technology education efforts as part of its racial justice initiative effort launched last year during the civil unrest sparked by police killings of African Americans.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced these education funding efforts which will support programs at the historical Black colleges and universities in the United States. These include some 100 institutions whose origins go back to the period of segregated higher education.
The project will provide a learning hub, global innovation, and an Apple developer academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit.
Apple decided to choose Detroit because the city as per the company has an energetic Black entrepreneur and developer community, with over 50,000 Black-owned businesses. The project will help and inspire the young Black community to be better creators, coders, and entrepreneurs. It will offer 2 programs, a 30-day introductory program for would-be developers, and a full 10-to-12-month academy program. The company expects the project to reach about 1,000 students each year focusing on coding, design, marketing, and professional skills.
Apple’s Propel Center will offer a variety of educational tracks, like Artificial Intelligence, augmented reality, social justice, machine learning, app development, entertainment and creative arts, agricultural technologies, career preparation, entrepreneurship, innovation and learning hub for the historical Black colleges and universities community. Experts from Apple will help develop the curriculum, provide learning support, internship opportunities, and mentorship to students.”
The company will also invest USD 25 million in Siebert Williams Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund. The fund will support businesses that serve underserved markets and foster growth initiatives.
Apple Chief executive Tim Cook asserted, “We are all responsible and accountable to build an equal world, and these new projects by Apple are delivering a clear message that the company is committed. The new projects focus on empowering communities that have borne the discrimination brunt for far too long.”
The initiative was announced by Apple in the wake of protests around the world ignited by the killing of African American George Floyd by police in May last year, and efforts to improve diversity.
Apple has also announced a contribution of an unspecified amount to The King Center, which is behind celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Apple has previously also made contributions to nonprofit organizations including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.