Propel Center & Disney Pact for HBCU Initiative


The Propel Center, an ideation hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), has partnered with The Walt Disney Company for an initiative to prepare young innovators for careers in the arts, media, entertainment and hospitality industries.

Through the collaboration, Propel and Disney will provide support, mentors, internships and a guest speakers series as part of the opportunities being made available to future storytellers and innovators from underrepresented communities. Disney will also work with HBCU faculty and other industry leaders to co-develop a curriculum that will position students for successful recruitment into these desired professions.

The initial curriculum will focus on technology and hospitality, where Disney has a significant number of entry-level career opportunities. The aim is to create a bridge between the academic training students receive and the job opportunities available to them in the industry.

Anthony Oni, Education Farm’s board chairman and the founder of Ed Farm and Propel, said: “The launch of this new collaboration with The Walt Disney Company positions the Propel Center to continue its important work of providing unprecedented opportunities and access to HBCUs. This collaboration is much more than an important moment. It’s also an opportunity to invest in HBCUs in ways that advance student learning and opportunities; while participating in the HBCU tradition of developing transformative leaders.”

Jennifer Cohen, executive VP of corporate social responsibility at The Walt Disney Company, said: “At Disney, we know that technology and hospitality play a huge role in telling great stories and creating seamless consumer experiences. We want to give HBCU students the opportunity to build the skills necessary in these areas to help them succeed in their careers. With the help of Propel’s network and expertise, we hope to reach more students and empower them with the experience and confidence to push storytelling forward.”

Waymond Jackson, CEO of Education Farm, said: “The Propel Center is a bold and transformational initiative impacting the entire HBCU ecosystem through cutting-edge curriculum, innovative technology, trending thought leadership and other opportunities, such as the ones this exciting new Disney collaboration presents. Propel aims to elevate how HBCU scholars see and experience the world. By equipping them with the resources, training and tools they need to become leaders who advance equity, transform the talent pipeline and tell their stories, we are ensuring that they are prepared to fill and create the jobs of the future.”