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Apple to challenge systemic racism, promote equity with REJI projects

Among its goals this year Apple will set up a Developer Academy in Detroit in order to push for education in coding, aiming to reach 1,000 students each year.

The Propel Center was imagined and designed by Ed Farm, a groundbreaking organization that works to promote innovation and educational equity, the company said.
The Propel Center was imagined and designed by Ed Farm, a groundbreaking organization that works to promote innovation and educational equity, the company said. (Apple)

Earlier today, Apple revealed that it would spend $100 million in order to fight systemic racism and advance racial equality by establishing a coding academy, a learning hub, and a venture capital fund to encourage entrepreneurship.

Setting out goals for new projects under the Cupertino company’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) Apple will set up a Developer Academy in Detroit in order to push for education in coding, aiming to reach 1,000 students each year. The Academy’s courses will be open to residents of Detroit, even if they do not have any prior coding experience, according to Apple. Courses include a 30-day introductory program and a full-time 10-12 month curriculum to help students learn coding, design, marketing, and professional skills.

Also read: Google, YouTube stand for racial equality: Pichai

Another large-scale effort by Apple includes the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The company says that another $25 million contribution will enable the Propel Center to offer a wide range of educational tracks, including AI and machine learning, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment arts, app development, augmented reality, design, and creative arts, career preparation, and entrepreneurship.

In order to boost funding to minority-owned businesses, Apple will also invest $10 million with Harlem Capital (an early-stage venture capital firm based in New York) to support its investments for 20 years in 1,000 companies founded by diverse owners. Another $25 million will be poured into Siebert Williams Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund to help fund minority-owned small and medium-sized businesses in underserved markets.

Apple will also make a contribution to the memorial to civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, The King Center. The company says it is doing so to share his teachings and inspire new generations to carry forward his unfinished work. Apple has previously made contributions to nonprofit organizations including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.

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