Apple to Set Up Innovation Center, Enable VC Funding to Combat Racism

Apple on Wednesday unveiled its latest efforts to combat systemic racism across communities including students and developers.
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Tech giant Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report on Wednesday unveiled a host of initiatives -- including a new innovation center, a developer academy in Detroit, grants, scholarships and donations -- to enable entrepreneurs, developers and students of color to combat systemic racism.

The move is part of Apple's $100 million racial equality and justice initiative announced last year.

The Cupertino, Calif., company will invest $10 million with Harlem Capital, the New York early-stage venture-capital firm, to provide VC funding to 1,000 companies with diverse founders over the next 20 years. 

The iPhone maker will also invest $25 million in Siebert Williams Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund, which provides capital to small and medium-size businesses, with an emphasis on minority-owned companies. Siebert Williams Shank is an investment firm with offices in New York and in Oakland, Calif.

"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,” Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a statement.

The company is contributing $25 million toward an innovation and learning hub called the Proper Center for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. And it is building an Apple Developer Academy in Detroit to both mentor and empower people of color across communities of coders, creators and developers.

"We’re launching [racial equity and justice 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," Cook added.

Shares of Apple at last check rose 1.7% to $131.02.