The Propel Center will provide Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) a membership-based suite of shared tools and resources. Through in-person and virtual programming, Ed Farm and partner institutions will leverage technology to accelerate entrepreneurship and policy-based problem solving among HBCU students, professors, and alumni.
History has demonstrated how HBCUs can drive transformative change and elevate the way its students see and experience the world. However, recent challenges have put that tradition in peril. Lack of resources and dwindling enrollment have stymied opportunities for innovation and pushed many HBCUs into survival mode. Ed Farm wants to change this. Our solution: the Propel Center.
The Propel Center will offer HBCUs a membership-based suite of shared resources focused on elevating the educational experiences and outcomes of their student entrepreneurs, creatives, and leaders. HBCU members of the Propel Center will have access to the following:
Students will be exposed to entrepreneurship and coding on their respective HBCU campuses through an ideation lab program that will provide introductions to entrepreneurship and coding in SWIFT.
The on-campus ideation lab will serve as a hook to draw HBCU students and professors into the Propel Center, where they will have access to an on-site lab with course offerings focused on
entrepreneurship, app development, the business of entertainment, and policy-driven problem-solving. The Propel Center will deliver in-person and remote coaching from industry experts ranging from global scholars and startup founders to policy leaders and renowned musicians.
HBCU administrators, professors, and students will gain access to Propel’s virtual education platform, which will allow for the delivery of high quality and culturally-enlightened instruction that’s developed to promote Black achievement. This platform will be developed to allow facilitation by Ed Farm and will enable HBCU professors to create and deliver their own content.
The challenges we are facing today are not new. Systemic racism and injustice have plagued communities for generations. To solve these challenges now, Ed Farm offers solutions that are rooted in the experiences of those currently facing systemic injustices. We are prepared to mobilize solutions that equip student from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to propel as globally competitive leaders, while also propelling their communities.
We call this effort The Propel Leadership Academy.
The Propel Leadership Academy provides students with five virtual and on-campus pathways for propelling their leadership development, entrepreneurial endeavors, and community impact. Through these pathways, an inaugural cohort of 200 students from high schools and HBCUs across America will be provided access to virtual training, curricula, and global experiences aimed at creating leaders who advance themselves and their communities:
Propel High School Academy
It’s never too soon to start leadership development. Via a partnership with INROADS, the world’s largest nonprofit committed to leadership and career development for underserved and underrepresented talent, the Propel Center will provide select high school students with one-of-a kind leadership training, exposure to STEM enrichment curriculum, and mentoring for providing immediate community impact. Upon completion of this nine-week pathway, students will be partnered with a mentor who will provide them with encouragement and guidance for transitioning from high school to the next chapter of their leadership.
The on-campus ideation lab will serve as a hook to draw HBCU students and professors into the Propel Center, where they will have access to an on-site lab with course offerings focused on entrepreneurship, app development, the business of entertainment, and policy-driven problem solving. The Propel Center will deliver in-person and remote coaching from industry experts, ranging from global scholars and startup founders to policy leaders and world-renowned creatives.
Community Leadership and Policy Academy
The challenges facing Black communities are dire. From poverty and healthcare disparities to injustices in the legal system, and high poverty school systems, the need is urgent for community leaders. Additionally, students will gain a working knowledge of the legal systems and be encouraged to apply their new skills to help advance their community and improve public policy.
Career Leadership Academy
Students who choose this track will gain access to corporate mentors, and trainings that are grounded in proven leadership development models. Students who emerge from this pathway will be prepared to enter the career portal to engage with hiring managers and participate in a virtual internship experience.
Fifth-Year Global Fellowship Program
Nominations from each participating cohort will be solicited for consideration for participation in the Propel Center’s Fifth-Year Global Fellowship Program. Select students will be invited to apply the skills they earned from participating in one of the respective pathways to help advance a developing and vulnerable global community.
The Propel Center will be more than a set of programs and curricula. It’s envisioned as a physical engine for transforming HBCU students into leaders who are prepared to solve the world’s emerging problems. As a physical campus, the Propel Center will serve as a powerful symbol for the HBCU community, one that represents an investment in culture, advancement, and thought leadership.
To thrive in our ever-changing world, HBCUs need to compete. One of the best ways for HBCUs to compete is through collaboration. The Propel Center will offer a centralized nexus for collaboration to HBCUs across the country.
The work we’ve already begun makes Ed Farm an ideal partner for the challenges it seeks to address in Atlanta. Our partners provide access to every HBCU in America, and our community network includes Black executives and nonprofits throughout the country who are committed to community impact.
The Propel Center is like nothing ever created for HBCUs. Taking cues from Apple, our entire ecosystem of resources will feature the power of SWIFT-centric technology, existing Apple HBCU Scholars, and intentionality around placing Apple’s technology in the hands of pioneering leaders who are committed to solving the world’s problems.
To Ed Farm, the value proposition of the Propel Center is clear. It will establish an educational cooperative that will become a global beacon for excellence in redefining what is possible when investments are made in HBCU talent.