Michigan State University is collaborating with the multinational technology company Apple Inc. to introduce Apple Developer Academy in Detroit later this year.
The first of its kind in North America, the academy will open in October and is supported by the Gilbert Family Foundation and the Rock Family of Companies.
The Academy was announced as part of Apple’s $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, or REJI, which focuses on education, economic equity and criminal justice reform.
"Detroit is the tech hub of the Midwest and the largest majority Black city in the country," a spokesperson from the Gilbert Family Foundation said in an email. "Detroit has a vibrant Black entrepreneur and developer community, but there remain massive racial disparities across the tech industry nationally. The Academy is designed to empower Black and Brown students with in-demand skills and career development opportunities in a tech-driven future."
In the email, the spokesperson said that "the Academy is open to all Michigan residents 18 and over regardless of prior coding experience. Priority will be given to Detroit residents. Interested students can apply at developeracademy.msu.edu/students."
"We believe as Detroit’s tech sector strengthens, it’s imperative to invest in intentional programming like the Academy to advance equity and remove barriers for underrepresented minorities," the spokesperson said in the email.
The Apple Developer Academy offers two different programs for individuals interested in app creation and or coding in the professional world. These range from beginner level courses to classes for those more experienced.
Apple purposely chose Detroit to be the first location of this academy in the United States.
The spokesperson said Apple’s REJI work is designed to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color.
In addition to the one-year program at the academy, MSU will offer a month-long Foundation Program, which is designed for students to learn about app economy careers as well as those interested in coding, design and app development in general.
More information on programming and dates are available on the website here.
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