Apple and a major utility company are each giving $ 25 million to set up a learning center and incubator for students from historically black colleges and universities, as part of a spate of donations to such schools after the summer protests against racial injustice.
The Propel Center will have a physical campus in Atlanta and online services aimed at reaching students at each of the country’s 100+ historically black institutions.
Apple also announced it will support HBCU engineering programs to expand curricula, research and lab space, add 100 new student scholarships, and open a unique developer academy in Detroit. In addition, the company will own 10 million companies over the next 20 years.
“We are all responsible for the urgent work to build a fairer and more equitable world – and these new projects are a clear signal of Apple’s continued commitment,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.
The money from Apple will fund a virtual presence and 50,000 square foot building for the Propel Center near the Atlanta University Center. It’s a consortium of four Black Colleges – Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and the Morehouse School of Medicine – who share resources, such as a shared library. An additional $ 25 million from Atlanta-based Southern Co., an electricity and gas company, is being paid for engineering and professional training.
“Propel will provide HBCU fellows across the country with access to cutting-edge technology, resources and programs to compete in multidisciplinary disciplines and career paths globally,” said George T. French Jr., president of Clark Atlanta University.
The Propel Center will offer academic programs both in person and online using a wide range of educational pathways, including AI and machine learning, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment arts, app development, augmented reality, design and creative arts, career preparation, and entrepreneurship.
Apple experts help with curriculum development and provide ongoing mentoring and learning support, as well as internship opportunities.
The center will host some of the students and teachers on campus in Atlanta who will live on site.
Apple said the donation was part of a $ 100 million racial justice and justice initiative announced in June, while Southern Co. said its funding commitment was part of a $ 50 million initiative to support HBCUs in the company’s service area in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia. North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.