ATLANTA — Apple and the Southern Company Foundation are pledging $25 million each to create the Propel Center, a first-of-its-kind digital tech hub housed at the historic Atlanta University Center campus.
"It’s very encouraging to see the tech community engaging and investing in this way," said Jakita Thomas.
She and her husband Erich Thomas are both alumni of the Atlanta University Center and also founders of the Atlanta-based tech company Pharaoh's Conclave.
"It’s also about building generational wealth and changing the trajectory of opportunities that are available to young people," Jakita said.
"We are now going to further establish the pipeline for these young people in these careers, in eSports and digital entertainment and tech fields, more broadly," Erich said.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company is honored to help with the development of the center.
"Working together to empower communities that have borne the brunt of racism and discrimination for far too long," Cook said in a statement. "We are honored to help bring this vision to bear, and to match our words and actions."
The Southern Company Foundation will focus on the construction of the building. Apple's role will focus on supporting students and faculty.
That will include creating a competitive curriculum composed of entrepreneurship, agriculture technologies, social justice, and artificial intelligence.