Apple and YouTube each commit $100m to support black causes

Among the initiatives are increasing spending with black-owned suppliers and funding black artists

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 28, 2019 Apple CEO Tim Cook arrives for Apple’s “The Morning Show” global premiere at Lincoln Center- David Geffen Hall in New York.  Apple on June 11, 2020 launched a racial justice initiative aimed at breaking down barriers to opportunity for minorities. Chief executive Tim Cook announced that the technology giant is committing $100 million to a new Racial Equity and Justice Initiative to be led by executive Lisa Jackson.
 / AFP / ANGELA WEISS
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Apple rolled out a $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative and Google-owned YouTube committed the same amount to fund black artists, the companies' chief executives said on Thursday. 
The announcements come in response to recent protests in the US and elsewhere that call attention to long-standing discrimination against African Americans, following the police killing of George Floyd last month. 
Apple and YouTube's efforts join a wave of actions by big companies, including banks and retailers, aiming to show support for the black community. 
Apple chief executive Tim Cook announced the fund on Twitter with an accompanying video.

"Each of us has a role to play in making sure we rise to the occasion," Mr Cook said. "Things must change and Apple's committed to being a force for that change." 
The company's initiative, which will start in the US and expand globally over time, "will challenge the systemic barriers to opportunity and dignity that exist for communities of colour and particularly for the black community, with special focus on issues of education, economic equality and criminal justice reform", he said. 
Other moves will include increasing total spend with black-owned suppliers, launching an entrepreneur camp for black developers as part of its Worldwide Developers Conference, and taking "significant new steps" to improve diversity and inclusion within Apple, Mr Cook said. 
The programme will be led by Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives.

Meanwhile, YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki said in a blog post the video service would spend $100m over multiple years on "amplifying and developing the voices of black creators and artists and their stories".

The platform will host a live stream fundraising event "Bear Witness, Take Action" on Saturday with donations benefiting the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organisation based in Montgomery, Alabama. 
"At YouTube, we believe black lives matter and we all need to do more to dismantle systemic racism," Ms Wojcicki wrote. 
The company updated its hate speech policy last year to ban videos alleging that a group is superior based on qualities like race, gender or religion to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion.
Last quarter alone, YouTube removed over 100,000 videos and 100 million comments for hate and harassment, Ms Wojcicki said.

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