Apple (AAPL) announced Wednesday that it’s increasing its commitment to racial equity and justice programs to more than $200 million. The company previously committed $100 million to the cause in 2021.
Apple also announced that it is forming a partnership with The Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. The effort will see Apple fund training opportunities for community leaders and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance staff members. The goal is to train 500 leaders who will help address opportunity gaps for 50,000 boys and young men of color in the US.
The $200 million commitment comes via Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI). The company first announced the REJI program in June 2020 in the wake of the killings of Breonna Taylor, a Kentucky EMT gunned down in her home by police during a no-knock raid, and George Floyd, a Minnesota man who died in custody when police knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.
Both Taylor and Floyd were Black, and their deaths, among several others, sparked nationwide protests calling for action to be taken against racial injustices throughout American society.
Apple says it has already earmarked some $50 million of its commitment as investments in three venture capital firms working with minority businesses: Harlem Capital, Collab Capital, and VamosVentures.
Apple says the three-year-old REJI program has already provided funding to a number of organizations and causes including supporting the launch of the Propel Center, a learning hub for historically Black colleges and universities that provides tech learning programs and career assistance.
Apple also launched the Apple Developer Academy in Detroit with Michigan State University to help students prepare for jobs working with iOS apps. Some 100 students graduated from the program last year.
While Apple’s REJI program was initially meant to focus on the US, the company says it’s now expanding its work to New Zealand. It’s already working in the UK, Mexico, and Australia. In New Zealand, Apple says it’s teaming up with Te Pūkenga, the country’s largest vocational educator, to prepare Māori and Pasifika students to enter the tech sector.
Apple regularly supports social justice causes. The firm is known for boosting the LGBTQ+ community, including with special Pride bands for its Apple Watch, among other things.
Daniel Howley is the tech editor at Yahoo Finance. He’s been covering the tech industry since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @DanielHowley.
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