Apple launches Racial Equity and Justice Initiative

The Black Lives Matters protests against the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others, put racial equality firmly back on the international agenda last June. Responding to this heightened public awareness, Apple has launched a Racial Equality and Justice Initiative, contributing to educational and non-profit causes that remove barriers to Black communities. 

Spurred by an investment of $100 million, the initiative is composed of various educational centres, help for Black entrepreneurs starting out and assistance for community activists.

Part of Apple’s commitment includes a newly launched training hub called the Propel Center, which will provide curriculum, internships, and mentorships. It also consists of a coding academy in Detroit, funding for Black entrepreneurs, scholarships for underrepresented communities and contributions to non-profits working for social justice.

The initiative is led by Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, who said: “Every individual deserves equal access to opportunity regardless of skin colour or zip code. For too long, communities of colour 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.”

In honour of Martin Luther King Junior

As a part of its support for community activism and following Martin Luther King day on 15th January, Apple is making a contribution to The King Center to further the activist’s unfinished work for racial equality. 

Next week, Dr King’s daughter and the CEO of The King Center, Dr Bernice King, will call on young people to give back to their communities as part of Apple’s Challenge for Change series, involving conversation guides and educational challenges on issues related to race and inequality.

Apple’s contribution to The King Center builds on the company’s previous donations to nonprofit organisations that advance equity and justice, including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.

Joining the pursuit of equality

Apple isn’t the only organisation to respond to the rising need to tackle racial inequities. Run by Mark Zuckerberg’s wife, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative recently donated $5.8 million to US charities working towards equality in education, and Netflix pledged to improve inclusivity in its workplace.

Other individuals and companies with the means can follow their suit by donating to organisations working to fight injustices or by offering their resources to causes that improve opportunities for all.