Birmingham is building a special bond with Apple

Birmingham Alabama
Tim Cook, Apple CEO was presented SCLC’s Keeper of the Dream Civil Rights Award on April 4, 2018 .Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now.

This past week, the public got to see a special bond built  between the city of Birmingham and Apple, one of America’s most successful companies.

Two significant events cemented this special relationship.

First, Mayor Randall Woodfin led a delegation of city leaders and officials   to Chicago where they visited  Apple employees, Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges of Chicago and others to learn more about Apple’s Everyone Can Code program, which will reach nearly 500,000 Chicago students this spring.

According to Rick Journey, director of communications for the Birmingham mayor’s office, the high level meeting was an exploratory visit that could lead to a possible partnership between Apple and the city.

The second event was Apple CEO Tim Cook’s extraordinary visit to Birmingham on April 4, the day of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. Cook spoke to students at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham  about the importance of King’s legacy and their role in our increasing digital society. That evening, Cook received  the Birmingham Metro Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s 2018 Human Rights Award at the Keeper of the Dream banquet.

It was at these events, Cook expressed hope for building a bright future. He made this passionate statement during his acceptance of the SCLC Human Rights Award.

Excerpt from the speech:

“Too much of a child’s future is still determined by the zip code for where they are born. Like the availability of a quality education.  But despite all of the challenges we face, I have hope. Despite the frustration, I have hope.

Right now like back then something big is happening. Right now, heroes do walk among us.

They are the students of Parkland, Florida fighting to make our schools safe. They are the citizens standing up for the dreamers and other immigrants because they make our country stronger. They are the women of ending the status quo with two simple words. Me too. They are the people who are standing up against the discrimination in our criminal justice system. They are the advocates around the world who ensure that every child has access to a good education, health care and clean water regardless of their race or community they live in.

These heroes know that patience is an indulgence we can’t afford. They know the time that God has given us on this earth isn’t for waiting. It’s for building.”

Let’s hope, Birmingham and Apple can capture Tim Cook’s vision and turn it into action.

This past week, it truly looks like  very special relationship between the Magic City and Apple is emerging.  Now, it is time to build.


Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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