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Transcripts: Apple just announced a $100 million 'Racial Equity and Justice Initiative'

Tim Cook at the iPhone 11 Pro event
Tim Cook at the iPhone 11 Pro event (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced a new Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.
  • It has a $100 million commitment.
  • Cook made the announcement on Twitter alongside a video.

Apple CEO Tim Cook today announced a new Racial Equity and Justice Initiative with a $100 million commitment. The announcement came via Twitter, with Cook sharing a video rather than linking to a statement.

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Cook started out strong in the announcement video, saying that "the unfinished work of racial justice and equality call us all to account, now and always". He went on to say that the initiative will begin in the United States but will, ultimately, extend beyond the country's borders.

Cook said that the initiative will focus on education, criminal justice reform, and economic equality. Apple's Lisa Jackson (opens in new tab), Vice President, Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives will be in charge of handling the new project.

The new initiative comes after Cook sent a memo to Apple employees saying that "we must do more" following the death of George Floyd. I'd say that a $100 million commitment is a very good start.

Now, maybe, it's time to take a look at that Apple Leadership (opens in new tab) page and work on fixing that. Thankfully, Cook did note that the company will be working to improve the diversity within Apple.

Here is a transcript of Tim Cook's announcement on Twitter:

Hello, everyone.The unfinished work of racial justice and equality call us all to account now and always. Growing up in Alabama during the civil rights movement, I saw firsthand that the only thing that ever made lasting and durable change was people of goodwill, putting aside comfort and safety to speak up, to march, to call for accountability, and to do what they could to make a flawed society more perfect. So it is today.We're at an important moment in our history, a time when progress, which has been far too slow, feels suddenly poised to move forward in a great leap. Each of us has a role to play in making sure we rise to the occasion. Things must change. And Apple is 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. Beginning in the United States and expanding globally over time, the initiative 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.Led by Lisa Jackson, this effort will build on our existing work in the racial justice space and significantly broaden its scope and impact using a model that has a proven track record. In recent years, Lisa has revolutionized our environmental work by looking across the company, bringing existing teams and projects together under one umbrella, dramatically expanding those efforts and compounding and magnifying their results. We want to bring that same holistic focus and company-wide scale to the essential work of racial justice and breaking down barriers to opportunity across our society.The effort will build on our long-standing work with historically Black colleges and universities, community colleges, STEM education, and underserved students and teachers, and forge new partnerships with organizations like the Equal Justice Initiative. It will bring together skills and knowledge from across the company and make changes that touch just about everything we do, all in service of achieving something transformative for our communities.Ahead of our Worldwide Developers Conference later this month, we're announcing a new developer entrepreneurial camp for Black developers with the goal of fostering and lifting up the brightest lights and best ideas in the developer family. In our supply chain and professional service partners, we're committed to increasing our total spending with Black-owned partners and increasing representation across companies we do business with.Last, but certainly not least, we're taking significant new steps on diversity and inclusion within Apple because there is more we can and must do to hire, develop and support those from underrepresented groups, especially our Black and Brown colleagues. This is a comprehensive effort governed by three principles; representation, inclusion, and accountability.I think accountability deserves special attention. Whether it is at Apple or anywhere in society, the burden of change must not fall on those who are underrepresented. It falls heaviest on those in positions of power, leadership, and influence to change structures for the greater good.Our commitment is to meet this challenge; listening, learning, and acting collaboratively. Apple has never shied away from tough conversations about tough topics. In fact, they're the only way we've made progress and that is still true today. We will do our part. And I want to send our gratitude to everyone who is pushing needed changes forward in their communities.Thank you.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

4 Comments
  • Glad they are doing stuff, but to put it in perspective, they are a 1.5 Trillion dollar company, ($1,500,000,000,000.00). 100 Million dollars ($100,000,000.00) is 0.0067%. So if you make $100K per year, you would be committing $6.70.
  • It's also worth taking into account how much Apple spends on other causes, and combining all of those together to see how much Apple is really paying towards causes. It's probably still not as much as they should, but it's shortsighted to focus on one specific cause
  • That's $100 million more than anyone else has put up so far. Good news.
  • Good news sure, but that's not a penny more than COMCAST has committed. *
    PayPal, YouTube and Apple collectively committed $730 **, so PayPal and YouTube are footing a chunk.
    It's not like companies don't try to do stuff about this. 'Google' corporate social responsibility justice, diversity, equality, etc., initiatives, and you find tons of programs. Even annual reports on what is being done and progress being made (taken credit for, if you want to be cynical). You don't find a lot of "we spent this much on this nebulous concept." Apple is not the only one throwing money at this. * https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/08/comcast-commits-100-million-to-fight-inj...
    ** https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2020/06/11/paypal-apple-youtube...