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Racial Equity & Justice – Apple announces its $100m initiative

Apple has announced the foundation of a new initiative called the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, kicking things off with a $100 million fund.

“The unfinished work of racial justice and equality call us all to account,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook on Twitter. “Things must change, and Apple’s committed to being a force for that change. Today, I’m proud to announce Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, with a $100 million commitment.”

In a five minute speech, Cook confirmed his belief that in cases of systemic injustice, it is the responsibility of those running the systems to make positive changes. Apple certainly has the power and money to make things happen.

In particular, the initiative will strive to support the black community, with a “special focus on issues of education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform.”

Key in his messaging was a theme of accountability, one that perhaps will lead Apple to look at itself honestly to ensure it’s not guilty of hypocrisy when it comes to promoting justice.

The new initiative is headed up by Apple’s Lisa Jackson, who already oversees the company’s Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives sectors.

Apple has been making moves towards a more diverse working culture for years, as detailed one its longstanding Inclusion & Diversity microsite. But it’s still true that Apple is exceptionally white at the management level. Cook says the company will be “taking significant new steps” to hire talent from underrepresented groups.

Meanwhile, ahead of Apple’s WWDC event later this month, the company will support up-and-coming black app developers at an all-new Developer Entrepreneurial Camp.

For more on Apple’s stance, we suggest you watch Cook’s announcement video in full.