Apple Partners With HBCUs to Offer Black Students and Communities Coding and Creativity Opportunities
Photo Credit: Apple

Apple Partners With HBCUs to Offer Black Students and Communities Coding and Creativity Opportunities

Apple is extending its Community Education Initiative to include more Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the tech giant announced in a press release.

Central State University, Dillard University, Morehouse College, Prairie View A&M University, and Southern University are among the schools added to the growing roster of the newest technology hubs—designed to bring coding, creativity, and workforce development opportunities to thousands of students and adult learners of all ages using Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create curricula.

Apple’s Community Education Initiative launched last year to offer Black and Brown students and underrepresented communities a pathway to high-paying jobs in an industry severely lacking diversity.

By summer’s end, Apple expects to double the number of HBCU partners to serve an even broader community beyond campuses, including local K-12 schools, community partners, local government, and other community stakeholders.

“Apple is committed to working alongside communities of color to advance educational equity,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “We see this expansion of our Community Education Initiative and partnership with HBCUs as another step toward helping Black students realize their dreams and solve the problems of tomorrow.”

Today, the program extends to 24 locations across the U.S. — 12 of which are HBCUs and 21 of which predominately serve majority Black and Brown students—including Tennessee State University. For two years, Apple has worked with the university to launch and expand TSU’s HBCU C2 initiative, which brings coding and creativity experiences to all 100+ HBCUs.

“In two years, I want all HBCUs to be coding and creating,” said Dr. Robbie Melton, Associate Vice President of the SMART Global Technology Innovation Center and Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies at TSU. “In two years, you’re going to see many more people of color entering the STEM workforce — and in two years we’re going to double the number of Black women in technology through this program.”

Apple is also working with Southern University at Shreveport in Louisiana to introduce its coding and creativity curricula to students, faculty, staff, and community members.

“This is causing a resurgence at HBCUs — a renewed interest in technology as something that can help design the future,” said Dr. Sharron Herron-Williams, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Institutional Priorities at Southern. “Because so many HBCUs have been faced with financial challenges, they have been more focused on ‘how do we keep the doors open’ rather than ‘how do we continue to grow and expand more programs to make HBCUs remain attractive to everyone.’ So this Apple initiative is helping give HBCUs their energy back.”