Propel Center Launches Three-Part Junior Music Executive Accelerator Series to Inspire HBCU Students to Become Future Music Industry Executives


ATLANTE, July 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Propel Center, in commemoration of Black Music Month, has teamed up with five of Propel’s institutional partners to successfully launch the first of three installments in the C3 series, an executive pipeline program of the music industry to promote music entrepreneurship in technology.

The series of accelerators, whose acronym stands for Create, Collaborate and Connect, will strive to increase the leadership pipeline in today’s music industry for HBCU students and youth of color with the goal to achieve these three ambitions by offering attendees an all-access pass to learn directly from some of the greatest minds, executives and trendsetters in the music industry.

The limited C3 series will continue March 2023, with a mission to ensure the diverse leadership pipeline reaches and includes HBCU’s talent, while accelerating the next generation of executive leaders in music marketing, music public relations, technology and production. The first participants, which included more than 60 students gathered in master classes held at Atlanta Clark Universityfrom Bethune-Cookman University, Jackson State University, Atlanta Clark UniversityEdward Waters University and Bishop State Community College.

As part of C3’s learning-focused, project-based curriculum, each of the students was tasked with introducing a potential new artist to the mainstream market by arranging the necessary musical resources and then working to implement the a tailor-made branding and communication campaign. The program, funded by Industry Impact Grants made available to eligible member institutions of the Propel Center HBCU, is co-facilitated by respected executives, Steve HiggsCOO, Preach Records/Ingrooves and Head of A&R, and Cortez Bryantco-CEO of management company Blueprint Group and assistant professor at his alma mater, Jackson State University.

Guest speakers for the Black Music Month Masterclass Rollout included Bryant and Higgs, Shawn Geepartner/president of Live Nation Urban, Gee Roberson, co-CEO of Blueprint Group, Tuo ClarkSVP A&R at Def Jam, Josh Raiford from Pandora/Sirius XM, Grammy-winning producer Drummaboy, Dominique SimpsonCEO of CMPR, Inc. and music producer Fresh Ayr.

“The new C3 Series program is just another example of the innovative and challenging work going on at Propel,” said Dr. Charles J. Gibbs, president of the Propel Center HBCU consortium. “As we seek to continue to provide our students with a pathway to help shape the future of the music industry, it is imperative that we expose them to the limitless leadership opportunities beyond artist careers” , he added.

“There are countless other possibilities – and a greater likelihood of success – in the many roles that exist to showcase the behind-the-scenes talent to shake things up in music, and through this acceleration platform, we train our students to be the best prepared and ready to take on these roles.”

“The Bethune-Cookman University Music Mogul project created at C3 with the Propel grant is proving to be a successful experiential learning program for our students participating in this unique pilot project,” said the professor. Sylvester Polk of the BCU. “Our students value their experience and the wealth of knowledge provided to them,” he continued. “They had a rare chance to experience real-world industry operations, were in recording studios, and attended masterclasses with seasoned industry professionals. It was a much-needed complement and vital to what we do in the classroom.”

“There is a real need for development programs within the music industry. I am so thankful that Propel has stepped up to lend the resources needed to tackle this issue,” the partner of the company said. ‘industry Cortez Bryant. Industry partner Steve Higgs“This program is the answer to equity and inclusion in executive spaces within the music industry. HBCU students deserve innovative programs like this, to ensure they are prepared for the career.”

About Ed Farm

Ed Farm was launched in February 2020 in Birmingham, Alabama creating programs designed to engage students, educators, and adult learners in innovative digital skills experiences that better prepare them for the 21st century workforce. To advance, Ed Farm is expanding its programming and footprint across the country, building on existing programming and ongoing work in Birmingham.

About the Propel Center

The Propel Center is a one-of-a-kind center of innovation and learning for the entire HBCU college community serving as a catalytic epicenter of learning, providing students with the knowledge, skills, tools and resources needed to transform the country’s talent pool and workforce. Through a robust virtual platform, on-campus activities at partner institutions, and a physical campus located near University Center Atlanta, Propel will bring innovative programs and unparalleled leadership opportunities to produce the next generation of black leaders. To learn more, visit


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