Propel Center will provide students and faculty with world-class skills and leadership development opportunities through virtual and in-person instruction
Jacksonville, FL – Edward Waters College is proud to announce its partnership with Propel Center, a new global campus headquartered in Atlanta that will support innovative learning and development for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide. Edward Waters College 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.
“We are excited about our partnership with the Propel Center. It will accelerate education, innovation and workforce development at Edward Waters College to the direct benefit of our academic community, Jacksonville, and the NE Florida region at large,” said Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., President and CEO. “The partnership will undoubtedly create new pathways and help to remove traditional socio-economic barriers to technological access and career development opportunities particularly in these cutting edge disciplines for our students. Edward Waters College is proud to join Apple and Southern Company in this endeavor that aligns well with our strategic goals and plan for forthcoming overall academic expansion.”
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.”
“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, 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.”
Additional information on Propel Center can be found at PropelCenter.org.
About Edward Waters College
Edward Waters College (EWC), accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), is a private, historically black, urban college which offers a liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on the Christian principles of high moral and spiritual values. EWC was established in 1866 and is an African Methodist Episcopal Church-related institution of learning. It is the first private institution of higher education in the State of Florida.