GLOBAL HBCU LEADERSHIP HUB PROPEL ANNOUNCES $2M IN RESEARCH GRANTS TO IMPACT THE NEXT GENERATION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE LEADERS

Support from Apple — through the company’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative — will give HBCUs tools and resources to pursue new research and learning opportunities

(Atlanta, Georgia) – The Propel Center, committed to supporting students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as they pursue innovation, leadership, and social justice, today announced $2 million in Propel Impact Grants to help establish institutions as repositories of research for global scholars, startup founders, policy leaders, culture creators, and the world’s most influential business and entrepreneurial minds. The funding is part of Propel Arts and Propel Agri-Tech, two of the Propel Center’s many programs designed to empower HBCU students with the tools and resources to advance equity and justice through technology, entrepreneurship, education and social impact. Located in the historic Atlanta University Center (AUC), Propel will offer these research opportunities at its physical campus, through its virtual platform and by way of its on-campus activations at HBCU partner institutions.

The Propel Impact Grants are launching with support from Apple, which is working alongside Propel to help develop curricula and provide ongoing mentorship and learning experiences, along with internship opportunities.

“We envision a world where all people have access to the tools and resources they need to advance justice,” said Dr. Cortney Harris, vice president of impact and engagement for Propel. “This investment will help elevate the way HBCU students see and experience their place in the world, and we’re so thrilled to partner with Apple to help drive this transformative change.”

“The HBCU community is home to incredible leadership, entrepreneurship, and creativity, and we are thrilled to help support new pathways for student success,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “Working side-by-side with HBCU leaders and other key stakeholders, together we can create a more just and equitable world where all students have the opportunity to shape our future and drive meaningful change.”

The grants are designed to create educational, work-study and career pathways for students that will align with HBCU courses, degrees, certificates and internships. Propel Center research institution funding will also support graduate student and faculty research, signature programs, and development of new curricular resources.

The first round of Propel Impact Grants open today. Applications are due by Monday, December 7, and grant awards will be announced on Friday, December 17. The $200,000 grants will be implemented within the 2022 calendar year. In addition to professional and financial support from Apple, each grant recipient will receive Apple hardware to support their research and learning, including MacBook Pro, iPad, Apple Pencil, iPhone, and Apple Watch.

Imagined in January 2021 by Ed Farm—an ed-tech nonprofit committed to transforming classrooms to uplift communities— and supported by founding partners Apple and Southern Company, the Propel Center is a first-of-its-kind innovation and learning hub for the entire HBCU community that will serve as a catalytic epicenter of learning providing  students with the knowledge, skills, tools and resources necessary to transform the nation’s talent pipeline and workforce. Through a robust virtual platform, on-campus activations at partner institutions and a physical campus located in the Atlanta University Center, Propel will bring labs and technology to participating schools. To learn more more, visit propelcenter.org and edfarm.org.