Apple has pledged to donate $100 million to organizations furthering racial equity and justice, joining other media and tech companies backing social-justice causes.
“The unfinished work of racial justice and equality call us all to account. Things must change, and Apple’s committed to being a force for that change,” Cook wrote. “Today, I’m proud to announce Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, with a $100 million commitment.”
As of the end of March, Apple had nearly $193 billion cash on hand.
The initiative will begin in the U.S., then expand globally. It will “challenge the systemic barriers to opportunity and dignity that exist for communities of color, and particularly for the Black community, with special focus on issues of education, economic equality and criminal-justice reform,” Cook said in a video with the tweet.
Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative is being led by Lisa Jackson, VP, environment, policy and social initiatives.
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Under the program, Apple is committing to increasing spending with Black-owned suppliers and professional partners, Cook said. Apple also has created a new developer entrepreneurial camp for Black developers for its 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference, which takes place online June 22-26. The tech company also will take “significant new steps” on diversity and inclusion to hire and support underrepresented groups, according to Cook.
The announcement comes after Cook last week released an open letter addressing racism in America and the death of Floyd, saying the company “must do more” to address inequality. He said Apple has previously announced donations to anti-racist organizations, including the Equal Justice Initiative, which is dedicated to ending mass incarceration in the U.S., but had not disclosed how much it has given.
Among other corporations committing new funding to racial justice and other diversity efforts, Comcast this week announced a $100 million pledge for social-justice programs aimed at inequality against “any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability.” That will comprise $75 million in cash and $25 million worth of advertising inventory over the next three years across Comcast, Sky and NBCUniversal.