Apple CEO Tim Cook opened his WWDC keynote talk by addressing racism, equality, and justice. He said he recognized the pain being felt throughout the nation, “especially in our Black and Brown communities after the senseless killing of George Floyd” and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests.
Cook said the events of the past month have caused everyone to “face longstanding institutional inequalities and social injustices.” Apple has joined a number of tech companies in making commitments to racial equity in the wake of the killing of Floyd. He added, “This country was founded on the principles of freedom and equality for all. For too many people, and for too long, we haven’t lived up to those ideas. This means taking action.”
On June 11, Apple said it would commit $100 million to a new racial equity and justice initiative, which will challenge “systemic barriers that limit opportunity for communities of color in the critical areas of education, economic equality, and criminal justice,” Cook said.
That effort is being led by environmental and social justice vice president Lisa Jackson. Apple also said it would boost spending with Black-owned partner companies and begin working with the Equal Justice Initiative and improve representation of minorities in its supply chain.
The company is also boosting its prior efforts with historically Black colleges, community colleges, and underserved educational institutions. It is also hiring more minorities, including members of the Black community. Cook also said the Black developers will be able to attend a new entrepreneur camp to “foster the brightest lights and best ideas.”
At Apple, Cook said, “Our mission has always been to make the world a better place, and we’re committed to being a force for change.”