Clark Atlanta University Works with Propel Center to Help HBCUs Innovation and Development

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( ENSPIRE News ) Clark Atlanta University Partners with Propel Center, a New Global HBCU Headquarters, for Innovation Learning and Development for HBCUs

ENSPIRE Contributor: Octavia Johnson

Clark Atlanta University (CAU) announced its partnership with Propel Center, a new global campus headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., that will support innovative learning and development for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide. CAU will collaborate with Propel Center and the entire HBCU community to bring leadership and career development programming to its students.

Propel Center was imagined and designed by Ed Farm, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing education through technology—with Apple and Southern Company supporting the project as founding partners. The Propel Center is designed to connect HBCU students to technology curriculum, cultural thought leaders, entrepreneurship skills development, and accelerator programs, with a focus on social justice and equity. 

The first-of-its-kind initiative will serve as a hub for all 100+ HBCUs and is designed to connect students and faculty from across the community and provide them with the knowledge, skills, tools, and resources necessary to transform our nation’s talent pipeline and workforce. Curriculum options will include AI and machine learning, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment arts, app development, augmented reality, design and creativity, career preparation, and entrepreneurship tracks.

“Propel represents the most inclusive, game-changing, and collaborative partnership that I have witnessed within my 17 years as both college and university president. Propel will provide HBCU student-scholars across the country access to cutting-edge technology, resources, and programming to be globally competitive across multidisciplinary disciplines and career trajectories,” said CAU president and chair of the Atlanta University Center Consortium Council of Presidents George T. French Jr. French Jr. added, “Propel will serve HBCUs across the country in an unprecedented collaborative. This multi-million-dollar public-private partnership will serve as an exemplar, with reverberations affecting generations.”

President George T. French Jr.

Students from participating schools will access Propel Center’s online digital learning platform from anywhere, and will also have access to the 50,000 square-foot Propel Center headquarters in Atlanta, equipped with state-of-the-art lecture halls, learning labs, and on-site living for a scholars-in-residence program.

“The HBCU community is a tremendous engine of Black creativity, entrepreneurship, and inclusive opportunity,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives. “We are thrilled to join with partners and community stakeholders to support the Propel Center and be part of this groundbreaking new global hub for HBCU innovation and learning, devoted to helping faculty create best-in-class curriculum and ensuring students have access to cutting-edge skills.”

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“We know inequities exist in our society, and it’s up to each of us to be more intentional in our efforts to make a difference and bridge the gap,” said Tom A. Fanning, chairman, president, and CEO of Southern Company. “We know more must be done, and the establishment of the Propel Center is another important demonstration of Southern Company fulfilling our commitment to move our communities to a more equitable future. Partnering with Apple in this initiative is an exciting way to connect future leaders with these critical resources.”

“These investments are critical as we begin to truly scale Black innovation ecosystems,” said Anthony Oni, chairman of Ed Farm. “By leveraging technology and partnerships to connect students with unique learning opportunities, we can lift up the talent that already exists at these institutions of higher learning and accelerate their development. In doing so, we will have a hand in shaping the workforce of the future—and the leaders of tomorrow.”

For more information on Propel Center, please visit