Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits Alabama, Discusses MLK, Coding, and More in Student Symposium

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Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Alabama today to attend a banquet hosted by the Birmingham Metro Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), where he received the 2018 Human Rights Award for advocacy for equality and safety in the workplace. Cook is an Alabama native who grew up in Robertsdale and attended Auburn University.

The event was meant to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. King was the founding president of the SCLC in 1957.


Ahead of the banquet, Cook also spoke at a student symposium at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham focusing on civil rights, education, and innovation, and details of what he had to say were shared by Alabama news site AL.com.

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On the topic of Martin Luther King Jr., Cook said his teachings "are timeless." "If you listen to him today, you feel like he is speaking about today," said Cook. He went on to explain that it's important to reflect on the work done by King, and the ways we can continue his legacy.


As for students who attended the symposium, Cook encouraged them to "change the status quo" with a quote from Dr. King: "It's not the behavior and the actions of evil people that we remember at the end, but the silence of the good people." Cook said that's a quote that has always resonated with him.

"It is a special time in your life," he said. "This is a period of time where you can change the status quo. Now is the time to do it. The world needs you more than ever to not be silent."

After Dr. King, the conversation shifted to coding. As Cook has said multiple times, he believes coding is an "essential language." Apple's Swift coding curriculum is rolling out in community colleges in Alabama as of today, and Cook's trip also involved a stop at the Lawson State Community College.


Cook told students at the symposium that everyone in school should have "multiple years" of coding before graduating because it's important to "understand the possibility of software" even for those who don't plan to pursue a computer science-related job.

He also said that with students in the U.S. being pushed into four-year colleges, vocational paths have dried up, leading to the need for a rebalancing. Not everyone needs to attend a four-year college, he reportedly said, and focusing so much on four-year colleges has left us without enough people with the skills to build things.

Cook's final words were to encourage students to fight for change. Young people are "not stuck with old dogmas" and don't accept "it's never been done before" or "it can't be done," he said. "This is a great beauty of being young," he told students.

All of Cook's comments and additional details on the symposium can be found over at AL.com.

Top Rated Comments

Kaibelf Avatar
37 months ago

Never misses an opportunity to lecture on human rights does he :rolleyes:

Could be worse. At least he’s not attacking people for trying to better the world, unlike Dr. King’s killer and the people who hated him.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Johnny907 Avatar
37 months ago
Doesn’t discuss the summary firing of a prominent black executive for making a common sense statement, and then quickly replacing her with a white lesbian social justice warrior.
Oops.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
37 months ago

"It's not the behavior and the actions of evil people that we remember at the end, but the silence of the good people." Cook said that's a quote that has always resonated with him."

How about the people of China Mr. Cook? What about them, now that you handed over their iCloud data to the dictatorship? Or did the weight of the almighty $$ dampen your resonance frequencies??

Why don’t people seem to understand that AMERICANS can talk about AMERICAN government but our opinions do not mean SQUAT in China. If you care so much about change there, renounce your citizenship and become a Chinese citizen and demand change. The US has done enough nation building, and it’s not Cook’s job to try to run another country.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
37 months ago
Never misses an opportunity to lecture on human rights does he :rolleyes:
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mtneer Avatar
37 months ago
"It's not the behavior and the actions of evil people that we remember at the end, but the silence of the good people." Cook said that's a quote that has always resonated with him."

How about the people of China Mr. Cook? What about them, now that you handed over their iCloud data to the dictatorship? Or did the weight of the almighty $$ dampen your resonance frequencies??
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
imronburgundy Avatar
37 months ago
Well, these comments were predictable so far and I'm sure there will be more to follow. He's a CEO, his job is to be the face of the company, which includes PR. He's not developing phones by hand or writing code. Good for him. When our country has seemingly gone crazy, at least there's one voice of reason and peace outwardly preached. He could be out there just bashing his competitors and making a fool of himself, like our country's "CEO".
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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