Empowering the next generation of Black creatives

Tim Cook, Misan Harriman, and Photo-Fantastic particpants Sofia Mpanda and Grace Olanma Etigwe-Uwa Credit Brooks Kraft

Apple expands its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative to the UK through a new partnership with the Southbank Centre

Apple and the Southbank Centre today launched a groundbreaking partnership to support Black creatives in the UK.

The ambitious programme is part of Apple’s global Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) – and represents Apple’s first REJI expansion into Europe. Together, Apple and the Southbank Centre will support emerging Black talent, helping to provide the tools and resources for aspiring creatives in the UK to develop their own voices and position themselves for long-lasting careers in their chosen fields. 

The partnership, which will launch later this autumn, has two key components:

  • The Southbank Centre will provide an intensive, industry-led training and development programme to help address and remove the structural barriers Black creatives often face in the creative industries. 
  • The Southbank Centre will collaborate with local schools to spark a passion for creativity among the next generation of talent, providing a powerful experience for participants early in their creative journeys. 

These two distinct programmes will be offered across three creative hubs in London, Birmingham and Manchester. 

Together, Apple and the Southbank Centre aim to reduce the barriers that currently exist for talented Black creatives. Through Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, this collaboration aims to inspire future generations to take part in building a cultural legacy for the UK.

‘We all have a part to play when it comes to creating a more equitable world, said Alisha Johnson, Apple’s director of REJI. We’re thrilled to support the Southbank Centre’s important work to uplift the next generation of Black creatives and to expand our Racial Equity and Justice Initiative to the UK.

Elaine Bedell, CEO of the Southbank Centre, added: At the Southbank Centre, we believe that everyone should have equal access to art and creativity and it's our founding principle. We're proud to partner with Apple on their first Racial Equity and Justice Initiative in the UK, to help nurture and grow the pipeline of diverse creative talent across the country.’

Apple’s relationship with the Southbank Centre began in summer 2022 with support for the Southbank Centre’s Photo-Fantastic accelerator programme for aspiring image makers. Fifteen emerging, London-based Black photographers took part, and their work has been exhibited at the Southbank Centre throughout September.

View the press release