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News | 2 min read

VSU Partners with Apple in $30 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative

September 2, 2021

VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY, VA– August 31, 2021- Virginia State University has announced an initiative that makes the University a Community Center for Coding and Creativity. The program is a part of Apple’s Community Education Initiative and Tennessee State University’s HBCU C2. The innovative teaching and learning initiative is designed to empower Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to expand technology and creativity experiences within their institutions and broader communities.

Faculty and educators will work alongside technological powerhouse, Apple, while also learning about coding and app development. The goal is to identify opportunities to incorporate its comprehensive Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create curricula which utilizes the easy-to-learn Swift programming language. Support from Apple also includes mobile iPad and Mac labs, opportunities for student jobs and scholarships, and funding for staff.

“Virginia State University is intentional in consistently seeking opportunities to grow and expand our services and our resources available for students and staff. This initiative may not only mean opportunities for our Trojan Family, but for members of the Petersburg, Richmond, and Chesterfield County greater communities as well. This is another example of the greater opportunities that happen here at VSU,” said Dr. Donald E. Palm, Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.

As part of its Community Education Initiative, Apple is supporting VSU with equipment and ongoing professional development to become the pre-eminent HBCU C2 community center to bring coding and creativity to our local community.

“This past year has shed light on the importance of technology in our ever-advancing global society. This new initiative and partnership with Apple provides our students an opportunity to further be a part of the revolutionary world of technology,” said Dr. Dawit Haile, Dean of the VSU College of Engineering and Technology.  “This tech world can open additional doors for our Trojan community—providing them opportunities to take part in what may be the next global technological revolution.”

Virginia State University is among nearly four dozen universities across the country serving as HBCU C2 community coding centers or regional hubs. Since 2019, participating HBCUs have offered new learning opportunities to thousands of degree-seeking students and community learners. Some have also expanded their impact through partnerships with local K-12 schools, community organizations, local governments, and more.