Technology company Apple announced major new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), which include the Propel Center, a learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit, and venture capital funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs.
Apple is committing $25 million in contributions for Propel Center to finance the construction of a physical campus in the historic Atlanta University Center and a robust virtual platform. Apple is working with Southern Company and a number of stakeholders for these efforts.
The center is designed to support the next generation of diverse leaders, providing innovative curricula, technology support, career opportunities, and fellowship programs. The Propel Center will offer a wide range of educational tracks, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment arts, app development, augmented reality, design and creative arts, career preparation, and entrepreneurship. Experts from Apple will help develop curricula and provide ongoing mentorship and learning support, along with offering internship opportunities.
Apple Developer Academy
The company is looking at opening the doors of its Apple Developer Academy in Detroit, an effort to empower young Black entrepreneurs, creators, and coders, helping them cultivate the skills necessary for jobs in the rapidly growing iOS app economy.
Citing the US Census Data, Apple said Detroit has a vibrant Black entrepreneur and developer community, with over 50,000 Black-owned businesses.
Launched in collaboration with Michigan State University, Apple Developer Academy courses will be open to all learners across Detroit, regardless of their academic background or whether they have any previous coding experience. The Apple Developer Academy will offer two programs in Detroit. A 30-day introductory program is designed for learners who are considering app economy careers and looking to better understand what it means to be a developer. The full academy program is an intensive 10- to 12-month program that will help aspiring developers build the skills needed to participate in the iOS app economy, and even start their own businesses. Apple expects the academy’s programming to reach close to 1,000 students each year with a curriculum that covers coding, design, marketing, and professional skills.