Apple, HBCUs, Accelerator Program

Apple, Propel Center To Host Accelerator Program for HBCU Students

Participants will use Apple technology to create music, album art, and digital marketing stories, engage in career conversations, and network with industry expert.

Apple and the Propel Center will host 50 students from 19 HBCUs as part of an arts and entertainment industry accelerator program.

The Propel Center was launched by Apple and Southern Company three years ago in order to advance the work being done by HBCUs and their students. According to Variety, the program will begin June 10 at Tennessee State University and will end at Atlanta’s Clark Atlanta University during the week of June 16.

Participants will use Apple products and technology to create music and album art and use tenets of digital marketing to tell stories as well as participate in conversations about careers, socialize with industry experts, and utilize resume-building workshops. 

“Creativity is central to everything we do at Apple, and we’re thrilled to help create more pathways into the arts and entertainment industries for HBCU students,” said Alisha Johnson Wilder, director of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. “Through Propel Center’s programming we’re helping expand opportunities for emerging creators from diverse backgrounds by ensuring these talented students have access to the technology, resources, and expertise they need to become leaders in the creative arts.”

Propel Center President Lisa Herring added, “Harnessing the undeniable power of creativity and collaboration has enabled Propel Center and Apple to establish a nurturing and inspiring environment to cultivate the many talents of our HBCU students. This year’s accelerator marks a continued commitment from Apple and our industry partners to help address equity and diversity gaps in the arts and entertainment industry and other critical business sectors.”

Apple has not walked back its commitments to social justice and that commitment is best evidenced through its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REIJ). Apple’s support for both the Propel Center and the 2024 Arts & Entertainment Industry Accelerator is a part of this wide-ranging set of programs and policies established to support Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities.

“We established the program with a $100 million commitment, and since then, we’ve more than doubled our commitment to over $200 million,” according to Apple’s REIJ 2023 Impact Overview. “This funding supports projects and partnerships across three priority areas: education, economic empowerment, and criminal justice reform. These are areas where we’ve historically seen disproportionate impacts for underresourced communities.”

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