Apple’s Newly Launched Racial Equity and Justice Initiative

Apple, through its newly launched initiative against racial inequity and injustice, the company hopes to fight injustices in the society that have been “ignored, silenced, and sidelined” for a long while.

“As global leaders in technology and business, we have an urgent responsibility to dismantle systemic racism and grow opportunities for people confronting it every day,” Apple wrote on its Website. “Our Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) is a long term effort to help ensure more positive outcomes for communities of color, particularly for the Black community.”

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said it was a matter of urgency to be involved in building a better and “equitable” world for all. As a result, all Apple’s new projects send a clear signal of the company’s commitment to ending racial inequity and injustice in the country.

The tech giant said it will begin the initiative with a $100 million commitment, which will endure until a change is seen in society. The REJI focus areas include education, criminal justice reform, and economic equality. The initiative’s commitment is aimed towards expanding opportunities for communities of color across the United States and to help build the next generation of leadership that supports diversity.

“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,” said Cook. “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.”

In June 2020, Apple announced the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative during the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, following the unlawful killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, amongst others. The initiative is led by Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson.

“Inequality can’t be ignored. We’re committed to helping create the positive outcomes communities of color deserve,” Jackson. “Every individual deserves equal access to opportunity regardless of skin color or zip code.”

Jackson added that communities of color have “faced gross injustices and institutional barriers” for too long; thereby, stopping them from living the American dream. Through REJI, Apple hopes to empower and inspire these communities to make a meaningful change.

In addition to the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, Apple is working with Southern Company and several community stakeholders to partner with the launch of the Propel Center, an innovation and learning hub for HBCUs. Apple will contribute $25 million to support the Propel Center which will support HBCU students and faculties through a rich virtual platform, a physical campus at Atlanta University Center, and on-campus activations at supporting institutions.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Apple on this extraordinary project,” Anthony Oni, Ed Farm founder and chairman, and vice president at Southern Company. “The Propel Center will help cultivate leadership and drive innovation in tech and beyond, acting as a springboard for change in communities across America.”

The Propel Center was initiated by Ed Farm, a renowned organization that promotes innovation and educational equity. The initiative is being driven by the partnership between Apple and Ed Farm, alongside three HBCUs.

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