Apple CEO Tim Cook was in Birmingham, Ala. on Wednesday, marking both the 50th anniversary of the murder of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and the rollout of Apple’s Swift programming curriculum across all Alabama Community College (ACCS) branches.

“It’s an honor to be in Birmingham celebrating Dr. King’s life today,” Cook wrote on Twitter, adding an abbreviated quote from a letter by King while he was in Birmingham Jail in 1963.

Cook was also in town to visit ACCS’s Lawson State Community College. In another Twitter post, Cook can be seen watching students as they work on iMacs.

The CEO is himself from Mobile, Ala., and a graduate of Auburn University, supporting their football team. He’s also a well-known backer of socially liberal causes such as LGBT rights and workplace diversity.

The Swift expansion is part of a broader educational campaign that intensified with a March 27 press event in Chicago. While much of the media’s attention centered around an updated “budget” iPad, the company also used the event to accelerate its Everyone Can Code program, intended to teach Swift at schools around the world. The company has put an altruistic spin on the initiative, but benefits financially given that Swift’s main use is developing for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.




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