Central State University Partners with Propel Center, a New Global HBCU Headquarters for Innovation
Central State University 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. Central State 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 delighted to build upon our partnership as an Apple C2 Regional Hub, which is part of Central State University’s Center for Academics, Research, and Innovation,” said Central State University President Jack Thomas. “Joining with these transformational leaders as part of this unprecedented and far-reaching initiative aligns with our journey as a premier innovative Midwest HBCU tech center focused on advancing our students as global leaders.”
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 Central State University:
Central State University, located in Wilberforce, Ohio, is a regionally accredited 1890 Land-Grant University with a 134-year tradition of preparing students from diverse backgrounds and experiences for leadership, research, and service. The University, which has been named HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest, fosters academic excellence within a nurturing environment and provides a strong liberal arts foundation and STEM-Ag curriculum leading to professional careers and advanced studies globally.