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Apple Opening Tech Innovation Center At Atlanta HBCU Campus

Rendering of the proposed Propel Center, to be utilized by students on the campus of Historic Black Colleges and Universities in the Southeast.

Apple is planning to launch the first-of-its-kind innovation center and learning hub connected to Metro Atlanta's Historic Black Colleges and Universities hub to help foster new generations of minorities skilled in high-tech and computing skills.

As part of its $100M Racial Equity and Justice Initiative announced last year, Apple is partnering with Southern Co. to establish a 50K SF Propel Center on the campus of the Atlanta University Center, home to Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, the Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman College.

The $25M center will allow students to engage in a range of educational tracks such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, app development, augmented reality, agricultural technologies, social justice and entertainment arts, Apple officials said in a press release. Apple will help develop the curricula and its experts will offer mentorship and learning support.

“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,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the release, adding that Apple and its partners are “working together to empower communities that have borne the brunt of racism and discrimination for far too long.”

Construction on the project is expected to begin this fall, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The Propel Center is also expected to include an accelerator program for entrepreneurs and on-site living facilities for a scholars-in-residence program.