Apple announces major new REJI projects to tackle systemic racism

CBS teased yesterday a ‘big announcement’ from Apple, and the company has now revealed what it is: major new projects to help tackle systemic racism.

The company has announced three different projects, each part of Apple’s $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), first launched back in June of last year in response to worldwide protests at the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and others …

The company made the announcement this morning.

Apple today announced a set of major new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color.

These forward-looking and comprehensive efforts include the Propel Center, a first-of-its-kind global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); an Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit; and venture capital funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs

Together, Apple’s REJI commitments aim to expand opportunities for communities of color across the country and to help build the next generation of diverse leaders.

The above render shows plans for the Propel Center.

CEO Tim Cook said that the company wanted to ensure it was living up to its values of equity and inclusion.

“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 Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “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.”

The initiative is led by Apple VP Lisa Jackson, who said Apple wanted to tear down barriers.

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

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