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Apple & YouTube pledge $100 million each to support racial justice

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Jun 12, 2020, 12:20 PM EDT (Updated)

Both Apple and YouTube are committing $100 million each in wide-ranging initiatives to support racial justice and equality.

Video giant YouTube's pledge will be a "multi-year" fund "dedicated to amplifying and developing the voices of Black creators and artists and their stories," according to an official post by CEO Susan Wojcicki. YouTube's live fundraising stream "Bear Witness, Take Action" — airing June 13 and featuring those like Jemele Hill, Soledad O'Brien, Roxane Gay, and Baratunde Thurston — aims to set the tone as it raises money for the Equal Justice Initiative.

The company also committed to increasing its crackdown on racist and hate speech on its own platform. "We're committed to doing better as a platform to center and amplify Black voices and perspectives," Wojcicki wrote.

Apple also laid out the plan for its equally substantial financial commitment. CEO Tim Cook explained the details in a video on his Twitter:

"The unfinished work of racial justice and equality call us all to account," Cook explained. "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."

Apple's $100 million initiative will begin in the U.S. and expand globally, challenging "systemic barriers to opportunity and dignity that exist for communities of color, and particularly for the Black community — with special focus on issues of education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform."

The initiative, which will be an internal effort as well, will be led by Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, who will help the money be put effectively toward "racial justice." Cook explains that the money will expand Apple's current relationship to some funds and organizations like historically black colleges, forge new partnerships with efforts like the Equal Justice Initiative (the beneficiary of YouTube's "Bear Witness, Take Action"), and help black developers through Apple's in-place programs.

Cook says the end goal of Apple's initiative is "something transformative for our communities."

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