Apple announces first-of-its-kind educational hub in Atlanta for HBCU community

ATLANTA — Apple has announced that it is supporting the launch of the Propel Center in Atlanta, a first-of-its-kind innovation and learning hub for the HBCU community.

Apple said it’s made a $25 million contribution, and is working along side Southern Company and other community stakeholders to enable the Propel Center to “support HBCU students and faculty through a robust virtual platform, a physical campus in the historic Atlanta University Center, as well as on-campus activations at partner institutions.”

The center is designed to support the next generation of diverse leaders, providing innovative curricula, technology support, career opportunities, and fellowship programs, Apple said in a release.

The Propel Center will offer a range of educational tracks, including AI and machine learning, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment arts, app development, augmented reality, design and creative arts, career preparation, and entrepreneurship. Experts from Apple will help develop curricula and provide ongoing mentorship and learning support, along with offering internship opportunities.

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The Propel Center was imagined and designed by Ed Farm, a groundbreaking Alabama-based organization that works to promote innovation and educational equity. Apple said the “initiative builds upon Apple’s partnership with Ed Farm and the company’s work with three dozen HBCUs, bringing coding, creativity, and career opportunities to campuses and communities across the US.”

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Apple on this extraordinary project,” said Anthony Oni, Ed Farm’s founder and chairman of the board, and a vice president at Southern Company. “The Propel Center will help cultivate leadership and drive innovation in tech and beyond, acting as a springboard for change in communities across America.”

As part of Apple’s ongoing partnerships with HBCUs, the company is also establishing two new grants to support HBCU engineering programs: Apple’s new Innovation Grants will help HBCU Colleges of Engineering develop their silicon and hardware engineering curriculum in partnership with Apple’s experts. The new Faculty Fellows Program will support HBCU educators pursuing R&D with mentorship programs, curriculum development assistance, and funds to equip their lab spaces.

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