Tim Cook launching Apple News
US tech majors are signing up for a more equal society. Apple and YouTube have launched $100 million programmes. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Cupertino: Apple Inc. said it is launching a $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, adding to the company's response to the police killing of George Floyd last month.

YouTube made a similar announcement.

Apple's programme was announced by CEO Tim Cook. "Things must change, and Apple's committed to being a force for that change," he wrote on Twitter.

The programme will start in the US and expand globally over time. It will focus on education, criminal justice reform and economic equality, he said in an accompanying video.

The programme will be led by Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice-president in charge of environment efforts, government relations and accessibility. Cook said the company's work on racial justice would mirror its focus on the environment.

Apple is also launching an entrepreneur training camp for black developers as part of its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, the CEO said. The company will increase total spending with black-owned partners in its supply chain and is taking "significant new steps" on inclusion, Cook added.

YouTube too

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced a $100 million fund "dedicated to amplifying and developing the voices of Black creators and artists." That includes a live-stream event, scheduled for Saturday, that will collect donations for the non-profit Equal Justice Initiative.

To date, YouTube, part of Alphabet Inc.'s Google, has had limited success funding programmes on its site. The video giant has also been criticized for hosting racist videos. Akilah Hughes, a YouTube creator, posted on Twitter an email she sent last week to YouTube executives asking the company to rid "the site of White Supremacists and their communities."

In Thursday's blog post, Wojcicki said YouTube would be examining its policies but did not specify any changes. "We will work to ensure Black users, artists, and creators can share their stories and be protected from hateful, white supremacist, and bullying content," she wrote.