Apple unveils new projects under $100 mn racial equity pledge

(IANS) Apple on Wednesday launched 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 colour.

Last June, Apple announced REJI in the wake of protests around the world following the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless others.

The new projects include Propel Centre, a 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.

“We’re launching REJI’s latest initiatives with partners across a broad range of industries and backgrounds, working together to empower communities that have borne the brunt of racism and discrimination for far too long,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple’s REJI commitments aim to expand opportunities for communities of colour across the US and help build the next generation of diverse leaders.

The company is also now offering scholarships to 100 new Apple Scholars from underrepresented communities.

In addition to financial support, the Apple Scholars programme includes mentorship and career development experience at Apple.

The REJI is led by Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson.

“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,” Jackson said.

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