T.D. Jakes Foundation Weekly Updates – December 21, 2020

December 21, 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

Last week, Hattie Hill, President & CEO of the T.D. Jakes Foundation, lost her mother, Carrie Flowers. In a memorial to her mom, Hattie wrote, “We’re supposed to be prepared for the moment when we lose our parents—that’s the natural order of things. But my mother was so much more than the woman who gave birth to me. She was my best friend, my confidante, my prayer warrior, my travel buddy, my North Star.” Read more about Hattie’s amazing mother.

Chairman T.D. Jakes recently penned a column on how the Christmas season presents an opportunity for all of us to learn that good things can come out of bad times. Click here to read his thoughts on how life doesn’t have to be perfect in order for us to have a silent night and a holy night.

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.

Education Update

The Dallas Education Foundation has received a $200,000 grant from USAA to help advance racial equality in Dallas ISD schools. The grant will go towards funding Actively Learn, a highly flexible, pedagogically-sound, cross-curricular platform for grades 6-12 at the Model of Excellence campuses in Dallas ISD for the next three years. Learn more via Dallas ISD.

Dallas ISD and the University of North Texas Dallas have announced a partnership to recruit more males of color to the teaching profession. This partnership between Dallas ISD, UNT, and Clemson will create early pipelines for emerging teachers. Dallas ISD PTECH students in the education pathway will have the opportunity after graduation to attend UNT Dallas and come back fully certified and teach at Dallas ISD schools. Learn more via Dallas ISD.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has awarded $18.1 million to 49 institutions as part of the first-round of awards intended to support displaced workers. The Texas Reskilling Support Fund Grant Program is for those who need to “reskill” or “upskill” to re-enter the workforce or for those who left higher education to return and finish their programs. Texas Woman’s University, North Central Texas College, Texas A&M University-Commerce, the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Dallas and Collin College were among the institutions awarded funds within the Dallas area. Learn more via the Dallas Morning News.

Digital Divide

A new approach to providing broadband through satellites gives reliable internet access to far-flung communities — including Ector County Independent School District in Texas, who will be the first in the nation to use Starlink, the broadband service from Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Starlink uses low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite technology to provide internet access in faraway areas. Find out more via EdTech.

COVID-19 Relief

Congress has reached an agreement on a $900 billion Coronavirus relief package which includes a new round of direct payments to qualifying Americans, worth up to $600 per adult and child; a boost in weekly unemployment benefits; and funds for small-business aid and vaccine distribution. Read the full story in NPR.

The pandemic has taken its toll worldwide especially within underserved communities. In an effort to help further support underserved communities, Yelp announced they are depositing $10 million into three Black-owned banks across the country. As of today, there are 143 Minority Depository Institutions in the United States with just 18 being Black-owned. Read the full story in CNBC.

Striking a compromise between two high-risk population groups, a panel advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted to recommend that people age 75 and older be next in line to receive the coronavirus vaccine in the United States, along with about 30 million “frontline essential workers,” such as emergency responders, teachers and grocery store employees. Read more via The New York Times.


Wishing you and your families a safe and happy holiday season, with many blessings in the New Year!


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