Monday , January 18 2021

Apple has announced major investments in education, developer focused business support and more to boost diversity in tech for communities of color.

Apple takes huge steps to boost diversity in tech

By ,

Computerworld

|

Appleholic, (noun), æp·əl-hɑl·ɪk: An imaginative person who thinks about what Apple is doing, why and where it is going. Delivering popular Apple-related news, advice and entertainment since 1999.

Apple has taken a series of what should be major steps to help dismantle some of the barriers faced by communities of color as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.

Understanding that education and access to it is critical to empower access to opportunity and make communities more resilient, Apple has announced:

Apple announced its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative in June 2019, part of its corporate response to global protests against the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others.

The scheme is led by Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, and sits beside wider efforts to improve diversity and inclusion across the company.

Writing in a press release, Jackson said:

“Every individual deserves equal access to opportunity regardless of skin color or zip code. For too long, communities of color 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.”

“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,” said Apple CEO, Tim Cook.

“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. 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.”

Later, in a Tweet, he explained:

Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative is taking three big steps. Supporting the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for HBCUs. Our first Developer Academy in the US—in Detroit. And funding to accelerate minority-owned businesses. https://t.co/Z21ThemYe1

The Propel Center is an innovation and learning hub for the HBCU community. Apple is working alongside stakeholders and the Southern Company to support the launch of the center, making a $25 million contribution to help it begin its work.

The company will help develop curricula and also intends to provide mentors, learning support and internship opportunities for students there.

The Center will comprise of a campus at Atlanta University, a virtual platform and will also work on other campuses. The project aims to nurture a new generation of diverse leaders with learning resources, technology support, fellowships and career opportunities.

Those attending the center will be able to learn across a range of diverse tech topics, including AI and machine learning, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment arts, app development, AR, design and creative arts, career preparation, and entrepreneurship.

Apple will also offer two Innovation Grants to support engineering programs and 100 scholarships to those from underrepresented communities

The Propel Center initiative builds upon Apple’s existing partnership with Ed Farm and the company’s work with three dozen HBCUs.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Apple on this extraordinary project,” said Anthony Oni, Ed Farm’s founder and chairman of the board, and a 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.”

Apple also confirmed that its first U.S. Apple Developer Academy will open in Detroit working with Michigan State University (MSU). MSU and Apple have been working together on efforts to provide new forms of transformative education for three years.

Apple hopes the academy will empower young Black entrepreneurs, creators, and coders to help them engage in the app economy.

The company selected Detroit because it has a strong Black entrepreneur and developer community, with over 50,000 Black-owned businesses, according to US Census data, up from 32,000 in 2015. It also has an active tech scene.

Apple Developer Academy courses will be open to all learners across Detroit, regardless of their academic background or whether they have any previous coding experience.

Two programs will be available:

These schemes may prove to be invaluable to Detroit, which has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and is experiencing major losses in employment.

In February, Apple will host the inaugural cohort of its first virtual Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers, where students will gain access, mentorship and insight from Apple experts, leaders and engineers. The company began signing up participants to this scheme in October.

Apple recognizes that system barriers exist that mean Black and Brown entrepreneurs face obstacles getting the funding they need to realize business ideas. It hopes to help address this with two multi-million dollar investments in venture capital and banking projects that aim to support such businesses.

This investment incudes $10 million with early-stage VC firm, Harlem Capital and $25 million in Siebert Williams Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund.

The latter supports SMB’s wth a focus on minority-owned companies particularly in underserved markets; the former aims to support 1,000 companies across the next two decades, supporting these investments with mentorship and educational opportunity.

Apple’s huge effort also sees the company making a series of contributions to community colleges, nonprofit advocates, and local organizations.

It will make a making a contribution to The King Center, a living memorial to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to share his teachings and inspire new generations to carry forward his unfinished work. Dr. King’s daughter and the CEO of The King Center,

Dr. Bernice A. King, will next week call on young people to give back to their communities as part of Apple’s “Challenge for Change” series, which will comprise a set of conversation guides and learning-based challenges on issues related to race and inequality.

Apple has also contributed to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.

Please follow me onTwitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill on MeWe.

Jonny is a freelance writer who has been writing (mainly about Apple and technology) since 1999.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

This Article was first published on itnews.com

About IT News Ug

Check Also

The (subtle) second coming of Google+

Google may have given up on its official social service, but it never really left the underlying ambitions behind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

//whugesto.net/afu.php?zoneid=2572107