Apple makes $100M anti-racism investment, opens Detroit campus

Apple has big news, and it isn’t about a new phone.

© Jeff Chiu, Associated Press

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves after speaking at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on June 3, 2019, in San Jose, Calif.

Today the Cupertino-based tech giant announced a series of investments designed to combat systemic bias in the computing industry. Tim Cook appeared on “CBS This Morning” for an extended interview where he explained the decision to suspend Parler from the App Store and ambiguously called for accountability for the storming of the Capitol.

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“It was a sad and shameful day,” said Cook.

Then Cook went on to share the latest elements of their $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (originally announced last June after the killing of George Floyd).

The three pieces of the initiative include a developer academy in Detroit, venture capital funding for Black and brown entrepreneurs and the Propel Center, which they dub “a first-of-its kind global innovation and learning hub for Historical Black Colleges and Universities” located at the Atlanta University Center.

The Propel Center will receive a $25 million contribution, and Apple is also establishing two new grants, plus 100 scholarships to people from underrepresented communities, Apple said in a news release.

Their developer academy will feature 30-day and 10- to 12-month programs, which are expected to service close to 1,000 students per year and host an inaugural Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers in February, the release said.

Apple also announced investments in Harlem Capital ($10 million) and Siebert Williams Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund ($25 million) to provide capital to Black and brown entrepreneurs.

The company said it will also invest in The King Center, following similar investments in the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.

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