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Propel’s HBCU Impact Grantee Tour Reveals Exciting Graphic Novel Highlighting Benedict College’s Institutional History

(ATLANTA) April 10, 2023 – The Propel Center, a global HBCU technology and innovation hub committed to strengthening the Black talent pipeline, this Tuesday will make Benedict College the fifth stop of a seven-city tour to HBCUs across the country that received Propel Impact grants last year.

The $200,000 grants, generously provided by Apple– one of Propel’s founding partners– were awarded to 20 HBCUs whose submissions exhibited extraordinary innovation and equity in the Arts & Entertainment, Agri-Tech and Health industries.

WIth a portion of its funding, Benedict College produced an exciting graphic novel entitled “The Wonders of An HBCU” that tells the institution’s story. Under the creative direction of Marvel award-winning comic artist and Benedict alumnus Sanford Greene, art students composed individual scripts that showcased their most impactful real-life experiences and then illustrated them to visualize their stories.

“The Propel Impact Grant has truly enriched our academic program by providing essential resources, interactions, experiences, and opportunities for our students to develop new skills, meet leading industry partners of color, and realize their dream careers,” said Gina Moore, Chairwoman of the Communication & Arts Department at Benedict, adding that each story shares an important life lesson.

Senior studio arts major Madison Roberts agrees. Calling the college’s fictional work of sequential art “life-changing,” Roberts said, “The Wonders of An HBCU’ project has been nothing short of an exciting experience. Being able to turn your own personal day-to-day scenarios that are curated by [our] HBCU into a cartoon form is one to remember. I am grateful to have been a part of this amazing experience and I can’t wait for its reveal.”

On Tuesday, April 11, the wait for Roberts and the entire campus community will be over as Propel representatives will get an up close and personal screening of the making of the graphic novel, as well as a tour of the Visual Arts, Music Industry and Mass Communication Mac Labs, also made possible by Apple as part of the Impact Grant. The reveal, organized by the students in the Mass Communication program under the guidance of instructor Patrick Rutledge, will also include students in the Music Industry program who assisted with providing the musical scores for the documentary directed by Music Instructor Andrew Hutchens. The graphic novel presentation will be followed by a Q&A session featuring students, staff and faculty involved in the project.

“We are planning the final reveal, distribution, and signing of limited-edition copies in the fall 2023 semester,” said Moore, who explained that students will finalize their art over the remaining three weeks of the semester and from there, the digital art will be sent for final layout, text additions, and printing.

Exposing HBCU students to innovative and hands-on educational experiences is what the Propel Impact Grants are all about, shared Propel Senior Vice President of Impact and Programs Dr. Cortney Harris. “Propel remains dedicated to providing opportunities that advance HBCU students’ capabilities by providing financial resources, digital skills, access to technology, and industry-informed training,” Harris said. “With the support of our partners we are grateful to be in a position to provide opportunities for students to dream big and lead our future workforce.”

In addition to previewing the novel screening at Benedict, Propel will also showcase its new Propel Learn App— the ed-tech start-up’s signature learning credentialing platform providing HBCU scholars with advanced digital skills that are culturally responsive and will aid students’ future ready focus and success. The app is one of the major highlights of the Propel Impact Grantee tour, which concludes with stops at Prairie View A&M University and Simmons College.


What Is Propel: Imagined in January 2021 by founding partners Apple and Southern Company, the Propel Center is a first-of-its-kind innovation and learning hub for the entire HBCU community that provides the opportunity, resources and preparation to transform the nation’s talent pipeline and workforce. Through a robust virtual learning platform, on-campus activations at partner institutions and a physical future campus to be located in Georgia’s Atlanta University Center, Propel represents education now, designed for the future. To learn more, please visit

CONTACT: Dr. Cortney Harris

Senior Vice President of Impact and Programming

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