Jan 13, 2021 - Technology

Apple's latest moves on racial equity

Illustration of one black cursor in a row of white cursors

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Funding for a new developer academy in Detroit is one of several moves Apple is announcing today as it implements the $100 million racial equity and justice effort it announced last June.

The big picture: The tech industry is putting more money into racial equity efforts, but progress in diversifying its own ranks remains slow.

Details: Apple is pledging $25 million to help launch the Propel Center, a global learning hub. The center will consist of a physical campus in Atlanta along with a virtual community designed to serve those at historically Black colleges and universities. 

  • The Apple Developer Academy in Detroit will open later this year. It's being operated in partnership with Michigan State University and aims to help young Black entrepreneurs and coders find a place in the iOS app economy.
  • Apple is also investing $35 million in funds that focus on minority-owned companies. Some $10 million will be invested with Harlem Capital — an early-stage venture capital firm based in New York — and $25 million will be invested in Siebert Williams Shank's Clear Vision Impact Fund, which provides capital to small and medium-size businesses.

What they're saying: Apple CEO Tim Cook: "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."

  • Apple VP and former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson: "For too long, communities of color have faced gross injustices and institutional barriers to their pursuit of the American dream."
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