Apple will spend $100 million on a new company initiative dedicated to racial justice, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced in a video posted on Thursday.
"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 in the video.
The announcement comes as other technology companies and executives have spoken out forcefully against racial violence and have announced millions in donations to organizations pursuing justice in response to the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota on May 25.
The Apple Racial Equity and Justice initiative will focus on issues surrounding education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform, Cook said. It will be led by Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives.
Cook said the initiative would include both internal and external components. It will include work with historically black universities, community colleges, science and technology educators and underserved students. It will also include partnerships with outside groups including the Equal Justice Initiative, a group opposed to mass incarceration. Apple is also committing to increasing spending on black-owned suppliers, Cook said. A spokesman declined to provide additional details on specific donations.
Internally, Apple will hire and promote more black and underrepresented employees, Cook said.
"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," Cook said.