Tim Cook’s Apple joins fight for racial justice
Apple has stepped up its work to address systemic racism and inequality, with company CEO Tim Cook announcing a $100 million initiative in a passionate video posted on Twitter, following his recent open letter on racism.
Apple gets to work
Cook pulls no bones about this. He shares his experience growing up when the civil rights movement was fighting so hard in Alabama.
“The only thing that made lasting and durable change was people of good will, 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. So it is today,” he said.
The unfinished work of racial justice and equality call us all to account. Things must change, and Apple's committed to being a force for that change. Today, I'm proud to announce Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, with a $100 million commitment. pic.twitter.com/AoYafq2xlp
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 11, 2020
“While our laws have changed, the reality is that their protections are still not universally applied. We’ve seen progress since the America I grew up in, but it is similarly true that communities of color continue to endure discrimination and trauma,” Cook has said.
The $100 million will be used to try to address issues of racial equity in education, employment and economic inequality. The effort will begin in the U.S. and extend globally over time and will be led by Apple’s environmental chief, Lisa Jackson.
“Lisa has revolutionized our environmental work by looking across the company, bringing existing teams and projects together under one umbrella, dramatically expanding those efforts and compounding and magnifying their results. We want to bring that same holistic focus and companywide scale to racial justice and breaking down barriers to opportunity across our society,” Cook said.
Fighting for equality and justice for my community has driven my career as an environmentalist. I’ll continue the work leading Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/JKuaQP3I2r
— Lisa P. Jackson (@lisapjackson) June 11, 2020
Cook also promised to tackle other areas within the business, including its own internal inequalities, with promises to boost hires from people among underrepresented minorities and to increase spending with Black-owned suppliers.
‘The burden of change must not fall on those who are underrepresented’
Apple’s most recent diversity report showed that underrepresented groups made up 24% of Apple’s U.S. workforce and 31% of new hires – despite which the leaders within the company are nearly all white and male.
“This is a comprehensive effort governed by three principles: representation, inclusion, and accountability. I think accountability deserves special attention. Whether it is at Apple or anywhere else in society, the burden of change must not fall on those who are underrepresented. It falls heaviest on those in positions of power, leadership, and influence to change structures for the greater good.
“Our commitment is to meet this challenge. Listening, learning, and acting collaboratively. Apple has never shied away from tough conversations about tough topics. In fact, they’re the only way we make progress and that is still true today. We will do our part, and I want to send our gratitude to everyone who is pushing needed changes forward in their communities. Thank you,” Cook said.
We pave the road to the future a brick at a time.
Black lives matter.