T.D. Jakes Foundation Weekly Updates – November 16, 2020

November 16, 2020

To help you navigate these uncertain times, we’ve compiled timely news and resources related to small business, education, and connectivity. We hope this provides both information and comfort as we continue to weather these challenges.

T.D. Jakes Foundation in Action

Today, in the United States, there are approximately 2.6 million Black-owned businesses—a number has risen by more than 30 percent in the past decade. Click here to visit the T.D. Jakes Foundation’s helpful resource guide to help those looking for ways to support Black-owned businesses.

Need additional resources around STEAM? The T.D. Jakes Foundation has compiled a list of STEAM resources for the arts, coding, and engineering and even resources specifically for kids and teachers. Check out our STEAM resources here.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Kamala Harris is officially the first female vice president-elect in U.S. history, along with the first person of color to serve in the No. 2 position. Harris’s presence in the 2020 race—both as a candidate for president in the early days of the Democratic primary, and for vice president in the general election—has been a potent reminder of barriers women and people of color continue to face in accessing equal opportunity. “You can’t be what you don’t see” is a cornerstone of the T.D. Jakes Foundation’s mission, and Vice President-elect Harris’ example will continue to inspire young women and people of color for years to come. Visit Forbes to hear more.

HBCU representation in politics is not new, but after a contentious electoral season when racial justice was front and center, students and graduates say it’s heartening to see alumni ascend to the highest echelons of political office. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris went to Howard University; Former Georgia Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is a graduate of Spelman College; and Rev. and Georgia Senate candidate Raphael Warnock attended nearby Morehouse College. In addition to the HBCU graduates’ sheer presence in politics, their voter drives also encouraged others to elevate their civic engagement! Read more via NBC News.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) roles are becoming more commonplace in organizations of all sizes and industries, with very different approaches to what a “DE&I leader” is and should do. Visit Forbes to learn more on how to set up a DE&I leader for success.

Unconscious Bias

Racial justice is more urgent than ever, especially in the technology industry. The far-reaching scope and power of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) means that any gender and racial bias at the source is multiplied to the nth power in businesses and out in the world. The impact those technology biases have on society cannot be underestimated. To bring these issues to light, VentureBeat will host a 90-minute event exploring bias, racism, and the lack of diversity across AI on December 8th. Learn more on the event via VentureBeat.

To beat bias in the workplace, we must directly challenge and confront it—this was true pre-pandemic and remains true in a remote-first environment. This unprecedented moment could prove to be the perfect time to address long-term shortcomings in the interview process, as remote interviewing can become an extremely fair way to evaluate candidates and contribute to companies creating even more diverse workforces. Learn more on ways we can overcoming hiring bias via Dice.

STEAM News and Events

As we enter the holiday season, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will bring its mobile ‘Concert Truck’ for outdoor performances from the Dallas Arts District to schools, churches, hospitals, and retirement communities all over the area.  Each concert is 45-to-60 minutes long and free to the public. Twenty two performances are scheduled between Nov. 21 and Dec. 18. Learn more about the local arts this holiday season via the Dallas Morning News.

SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station on Sunday as part of the first full-fledged taxi flight for NASA by a private company on the ‘Dragon’ spacecraft, which will remain there until spring. The three-men, one-woman crew led by Commander Mike Hopkins, an Air Force colonel, named their capsule ‘Resilience’ in a nod not only to the pandemic, but also racial injustice and contentious politics. This crew proves to be extremely diverse as it includes physicist Shannon Walker, Navy Cmdr. Victor Glover, the first Black astronaut on a long-term space station mission, and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi, who became the first person in almost 40 years to launch on three types of spacecraft. Read more on the groundbreaking mission via USA Today.

As we continue to see many children engaged in remote learning, it is more important than ever for families to know how to access resources. Meet the toymakers and brands who are lending a helping hand to strengthen science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education via Newsweek’s ‘Best In STEM’ 2021 list. Visit Newsweek to see the full list.


In the race for a COVID-19 vaccine, the Moderna vaccine has reduced the risk of Covid-19 infection by 94.5%. This result comes one week after the Pfizer-BioNTech collaboration reported similar findings in a preliminary analysis of its mRNA vaccine. Read more about the ongoing vaccine trials via STAT news.

Together, we can and will get through this.


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