Apple and YouTube announce $100m initiatives to support black communities

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, announced in a video on Thursday that the tech giant is launching a $100 million initiative to promote racial equality for people of color.

YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki, made a similar announcement, saying YouTube will spend $100 million to fund black artists.

Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative is a multi-pronged effort to “challenge the systemic barriers to opportunity and dignity that exist for communities of color and particularly for the black community,” says Cook. Apple VP, Lisa Jackson, who previously served as an administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under the Obama administration, will lead the company’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.

As part of the $100 million initiative, Cook says Apple plans to increase spending and representation of black-owned partners across its supply chain. Additionally, the company plans to launch a camp for black developers and entrepreneurs and is expanding its partnerships with historically black colleges and universities. According to Cook, the company also plans to partner with the Equal Justice Initiative.

Internally, Apple intends to take “significant new steps” on diversity and inclusion within the company by hiring developers from underrepresented groups.

As for YouTube, Wojcicki shared in a blog post the company would spend $100 million over multiple years on “amplifying and developing the voices of black creators and artists and their stories.”

To kickstart the effort, YouTube will host a live stream fundraising event produced by YouTube Originals, “Bear Witness, Take Action.” The event will include roundtable discussions and musical performances, with donations from the event benefiting the Equal Justice Initiative.

“I’m committed to listening — to Black employees at YouTube, to Black creators, to Black artists, to leaders in the Black community, and to Black users who tune in to YouTube every day,” shared Wojcicki. “There is much work to do to advance racial equity in the long-term, and these efforts will continue in the months and years ahead.”

Apple and YouTube join a wave of companies that have come out in support of the black community. Nationwide, protesters have called for an end to longstanding discrimination and police brutality against black Americans in the US protests followed the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who had been detained by Minneapolis police.