Apple announces $25M Propel Center for Black colleges and universities

The tech giant says a new innovation and learning center will seek to provide "equal access to opportunity regardless of skin color or zip code."
student with backpack
(Getty Images)

To create more education opportunities for people of color, Apple announced on Wednesday plans to fund a $25 million innovation and learning hub, called the Propel Center, for students attending historically Black colleges and universities. It also announced plans develop coding and tech education programs for students in Detroit.

The new projects are part of Apple’s $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative project, which aims to expand opportunities for communities of color across the country and to help build the next generation of diverse leaders, according to the Apple.

“Every individual deserves equal access to opportunity regardless of skin color or zip code,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said in a press release. “For too long, communities of color have faced gross injustices and institutional barriers to their pursuit of the American dream, and we are proud to lend our voices and resources to build new engines of opportunity that empower, inspire, and create meaningful change.”

The Propel Center will be located in Atlanta, next to Clark Atlanta University, a private Methodist historically black research university, but will also support programming at partner HBCUs across the country, as well as through a virtual platform to ensure that students have access to education opportunities no matter where they are located.


Educational programs, including those focused on AI, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment arts, app development, augmented reality, design and creative arts, career preparation and entrepreneurship will be offered through the center, as well as mentorship and internship opportunities.

Apple has also committed to launching coding and tech education programs though its new Apple Developer Academy in Detroit, which is “designed to empower young Black entrepreneurs, creators, and coders, helping them cultivate the skills necessary for jobs in the rapidly growing iOS app economy.”

The Apple Developer Academy will offer two programs for students: a 30-day introductory program on app development and an intensive 10- to 12-month program covering coding, design, marketing and professional skills.

“We are all accountable to the urgent work of building a more just, more equitable world — and these new projects send a clear signal of Apple’s enduring commitment,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in a press release.

Betsy Foresman

Written by Betsy Foresman

Betsy Foresman was an education reporter for EdScoop from 2018 through early 2021, where she wrote about the virtues and challenges of innovative technology solutions used in higher education and K-12 spaces. Foresman also covered local government IT for StateScoop, on occasion. Foresman graduated from Texas Christian University in 2018 — go Frogs! — with a BA in journalism and psychology. During her senior year, she worked as an intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and moved back to the capital after completing her degree because, like Shrek, she feels most at home in the swamp. Foresman previously worked at Scoop News Group as an editorial fellow.

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