Apple has shared more about its recent partnership to help support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), this time with Huston-Tillotson University. With a multi-year program, Apple is offering scholarships, hardware, software, as well as professional development to help support the next generation of Black male educators.
The partnership with Huston-Tillotson University is the latest of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), something it’s pledged $100 million for. Apple highlighted partnership in a Newsroom post today:
Apple’s multiyear partnership with Huston-Tillotson complements other engagements the company has established through its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, working alongside the HBCU community to develop curricula and provide new learning and workforce opportunities.
At Huston-Tillotson, Apple is providing scholarships for the program’s students, called Pre-Ed Scholars, as well as hardware, software, and professional-development courses for students and faculty.
One of the goals of the program that started last year is to help increase the amount of Black male teachers – something the US needs badly.
Currently, only 2 percent of all US teachers are Black men, something the program at Huston-Tillotson seeks to change. When Black students are taught by a Black teacher, they are significantly more likely to graduate high school and consider attending college.
Apple highlighted Rhys Richard who is finishing his “freshman year remotely as part of the inaugural class of the African American Male Teacher Initiative at Huston-Tillotson University.” Here’s what he had to say about the importance of the program when he applied:
“Every student should have the chance to be taught by someone who represents them,” Rhys wrote in his application essay to Huston-Tillotson. “In order to build strong children, we need strong male teachers to forge a path through being the example for students. The baton has to be passed for us to continue pushing forward. I stand ready to run my leg of the race.”
Rhys is going to be a music educator and his first music classes at Huston-Tillotson were taught by Dr. Samuel Rowley, Rhys’ first Black male teacher.
Dr. Rowley noted that his life was “tremendously” impacted by his first Black male teacher. “We all wanted to be music teachers just like him.”
And Rowley was also very grateful for the Apple partnership and how it enabled remote learning over the last year:
“If it would not have been for Apple products, I would not have been able to connect with my students all around the country,” says Dr. Rowley, who is a recognized Apple Teacher after completing professional learning courses offered through the free online Apple Teacher Learning Center. He’s guiding Rhys and his fellow Pre-Ed Scholars through the courses as well, so they will also be recognized Apple Teachers when they graduate.