Tim Cook Announces Apple’s $100 Million Racial Justice Initiative.

Tim Cook Apple

Apple is creating a $100 million program to promote racial justice inside the company, CEO Tim Cook announced Thursday, as corporate leaders across the U.S. seek to respond to the George Floyd protests and are under a renewed pressure to address racial inequality at major companies.

Internally, Cook said the company will expand its recruitment efforts with HBCUs, create a camp for black developers and increase spending with black-owned companies.

The CEO also said Apple would form a partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit providing legal representation to prisoners who may have been denied a fair trial, though it is unclear how much money will be donated or what that partnership entails.

The program will be helmed by Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, who in 2009 was named the first African American EPA Administrator in U.S. history.

“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,” Cook said.

24%, that’s the percent of Apple’s workforce made up of underrepresented minorities.

Though nearly every major company has released a statement in support for black employees, business leaders are under pressure to take more concrete action. All of the major tech giants have donated or instituted employee donation matching programs to racial justice organizations. Twitter made Juneteenth a company holiday and Amazon said it would no longer let police use its controversial facial recognition technology for a year.

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