Apple’s latest commitments to its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative include a partnership with California State University.
Efforts include the Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub, expanded learning opportunities for HBCUs, the first Apple Entrepreneur Camp for Hispanic/Latinx Founders and Developers, and funding for organizations driving criminal justice reform and environmental justice.
Apple today announced $30 million in new commitments as part of its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), supporting students, innovators, and advocacy organizations that are leading the charge in creating a more inclusive, more just world. These new projects include a Global Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Equity Innovation Hub; expanded education initiatives for community colleges and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); a new cohort of the Apple Entrepreneur Camp immersive tech lab for Hispanic/Latinx founders and developers; and funding for leaders working to advance criminal justice reform and environmental justice.
These new commitments build on Apple’s $100 million initial investment in REJI, and will help elevate equity-focused solutions across the academic and advocacy landscapes. As 60 percent of undergraduate students at HSIs and HBCUs are Hispanic/Latinx or Black, Apple’s new projects will help equip the next generation of students and leaders to dismantle structures that perpetuate inequities and institutional racism.
“The call to build a more just and equitable world is an urgent one, and at Apple, we feel a collective responsibility to help drive progress forward,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The commitments we’re sharing will help the young leaders of today and tomorrow start new businesses, develop groundbreaking innovations, and inspire countless others to join the fight for justice. We’re grateful to all of the trailblazing organizations we’re partnering with for their tireless dedication to equity as we work toward a better future together.”
Expanding Access and Equity in Education with the Launch of the Innovation Hub
Apple is partnering with the California State University (CSU) to launch a Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub. This public-private partnership between the state of California, the CSU, and Apple will work in collaboration with HSIs throughout the nation to foster student success by equipping learners — including Hispanic/Latinx, Black, and Asian American students — with skills for high-demand careers. Apple’s commitment will support the initiative’s main location on the California State University, Northridge campus near Los Angeles, and provide Apple technology, design support, and thought partnership as the project expands. The partnership will launch equity-centered programming focused on transforming HSIs throughout the CSU and across the nation. It also seeks to expand by establishing regional HSI Equity Innovation hubs at affiliate colleges and universities, and through partnerships with national organizations committed to advancing this work.
“By reframing service through an equity and racial-justice lens, the Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub seeks to exponentially accelerate educational equity across the CSU system and the nation,” said Erika D. Beck, president of CSUN. “We are thankful for Apple’s support as we aim to shift away from thinking about what students must do to be successful, instead thinking about what our institutions must do to successfully serve the Latinx community and students from other underrepresented groups. The Equity Hub at CSUN is an ideal site to continue collaborating on proven strategies that benefit all.”
Applying an interdisciplinary approach, programming will focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and will leverage technology to inspire students to become the innovators and creators of the future in STEM.
“The CSU takes great pride in providing pathways to STEM education and preparing students for careers that power the world’s fifth-largest economy,” said Joseph I. Castro, chancellor of CSU. “Thanks to the bold vision from the state of California, Apple, and other legislative leaders, the Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub will greatly benefit thousands of talented students in California and beyond.”
In partnership with Tennessee State University, Apple is also supporting the expansion of the HBCU C2 initiative to 11 new schools — including Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University, and Texas Southern University — bringing the total number of community coding centers and regional hubs on HBCU campuses to 45 across the country. The program, which launched in 2019, empowers and supports HBCUs to bring coding and creativity experiences to their communities, using Apple hardware and its Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create curricula.
“In the three years since we teamed up with Apple, we’ve brought coding and creativity courses and experiences to thousands of HBCU students and community members,” said Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, president of Tennessee State University. “We’re proud of all that we’ve accomplished, and cannot wait to continue building this impactful initiative together as we create a more equitable future, open doors to new opportunities, and ensure our students have access to cutting-edge careers.”
Elevating App Founders and Technologists from Underrepresented Backgrounds
Apple will expand its Entrepreneur Camp program to welcome its first cohort of Hispanic/Latinx founders and developers next year. Participants in the immersive tech lab for app-driven companies founded and led by developers from underrepresented backgrounds will have the opportunity to work with Apple experts, engineers, and leaders to take their app experiences to the next level. They will also become members of the Apple Entrepreneur Camp alumni network, a world-class group of ambitious leaders who have gone on to secure major funding rounds, garner numerous awards and accolades, and significantly expand both their teams and app users worldwide.
“We are focused on advancing enduring change, and our newest grant commitments will further that effort by supporting problem solvers and solution seekers in communities of color nationwide,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives. “Education, economic opportunity, and environmental justice are fundamental pillars to ensuring racial equity, and everyone has a role to play in this critical mission.”
Investing in Criminal Justice and Environmental Justice Organizations
Apple has committed to investing in organizations that support racial justice, including the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, The Council on Criminal Justice, Innocence Project, The Last Mile, Recidiviz, The Sentencing Project, and Vera Institute of Justice. These commitments will also help to promote racial, ethnic, economic, and gender justice, as well as the safeguarding of youth and working to end the practice of extreme sentences in the criminal justice system.
“The Last Mile strives to break the cycle and curb the problem of mass incarceration in America by focusing on education, vocation, expansion, and workforce reentry,” said Beverly Parenti, executive director and founder of The Last Mile. “We are thrilled to have Apple support our mission as we work to build better opportunities and futures for the communities we serve.”
Apple is also partnering with a number of community colleges to implement programs that will help incarcerated and paroled individuals learn new skills and work to prevent recidivism. In Texas, at Houston Community College, Apple will contribute funding and technology to a program that supports individuals on parole and probation to prepare for career and college readiness. In California, Apple is supporting the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) in creating programming for the Community Collaborative Courts, an initiative where the Los Angeles County Probation Department works with prosecutors, attorneys, and judges to refer at-risk offenders to LACCD as an alternative to traditional incarceration. And in Louisiana, Apple is working with New Orleans’s Delgado Community College to develop an anti-recidivism program.
Additionally, Apple is committing funding to Black-, Hispanic/Latinx-, and Indigenous-led organizations that are grounded in advancing environmental justice, and advocating for communities most impacted by climate change and environmental disparities. Recipients include Hispanic Access Foundation, First Nations Development Institute, and the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice.
“For more than a decade, Hispanic Access Foundation has been working to address environmental hazards directly affecting our Latino community and establishing bridges that provide equal access to a more healthy, natural environment,” said Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation. “We’re thankful for Apple’s support, which will directly heighten our impact, help us deepen community engagement, and ensure that we continue to bring more equitable solutions and opportunities to the forefront.”
Funding will expand critical work emphasizing environmental stewardship, advocacy, and leadership in overburdened communities, and expand upon Apple’s Impact Accelerator, which helps combat systemic barriers to opportunity, while also advancing innovative solutions for communities impacted by climate change.
For more information about Apple’s commitment to racial equity and justice, visit apple.com/racial-equity-justice-initiative.
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