T.D. Jakes Foundation Weekly Updates – February 1, 2021

February 1, 2021

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

“We’re all in this together,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said during Chairman Jakes’ Conversations with America: Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccine panel. “Please get vaccinated for your safety and your community’s safety.” Joining Chairman Jakes and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official and adviser to President Biden, were Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a viral immunologist and lead scientist on the coronavirus research team at the National Institute of Infectious and Allergic Disease’s Vaccine Research Center, and Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu, an infectious disease specialist and associate professor at Yale School of Medicine. The participants discussed the COVID-19 vaccine, racial diversity within COVID-19 clinical trials, and building vaccine trust with BIPOC communities. Read the story in Dallas News.

In honor of Black History Month, Cynt Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks and a member of the T.D. Jakes Foundation Board of Directors, was recently featured by DiversityInc, recognized as the first Black female CEO in the NBA.

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.

Black History Month

February marks Black History Month, a federally recognized, nationwide celebration that calls on all Americans to reflect on the significant roles that African Americans have played in shaping U.S. history. Read about the man responsible for creating Black History Month at CNN.

Racial Divide with the COVID Vaccine

Experts cited racial barriers and unequal access to health care as some of the reasons people of color may be experiencing higher rates of illness and death from the pandemic. As COVID-19 vaccines are being administered, “what we saw in many cases is Black and Hispanic people accounted for smaller shares of people receiving vaccinations while in contrast they accounted for a disproportionate share of cases and deaths,” said Samantha Artiga, director of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s (KFF) Racial Equity and Health Policy Program. Read the full story in The Hill.

An Associated Press analysis has found that a racial gap has opened in the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination drive, with Black Americans in many places lagging behind whites in receiving shots. Read more about the analysis here.

The rollout of vaccines in New York City — once the epicenter of the pandemic — has been plagued by stark racial disparities, with Black and Latino residents receiving far fewer doses than white residents, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday. Mark Levine, a city councilman who chairs the Council’s health committee, has called for several measures to close what he called the “vaccine equity gap,” including giving residents of local ZIP codes scheduling priority in communities of color. Read more on the proposed measures via The New York Times.

Digital Skills Divide

Politico has reported that four-in-10 American employers are struggling to find workers with the right skills for a portion of their vacancies, according to a new survey of 850 companies. That’s despite a 6.7% unemployment rate and remote working broadening the talent pool for many roles.

STEAM Updates

The largest STEM EXPO in Texas is now available until Sunday, February 21. The expo, which originally took place virtually on Saturday, Jan 23, had over 180 hands-on exhibits exploring the different elements of STEM. Watch the STEM Expo here so you don’t miss out on all that the Dallas ISD Virtual STEM EXPO has to offer!

Despite making up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, women are still vastly underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce. With women representing nearly half of the U.S. workforce, they only represent 27% of STEM workers. In 2019, the Census Bureau reported there were nearly 10.8 million STEM workers. Read more on the recent findings via the United States Census.

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Amrutha Vasan and Aditya Vishwanath, two Georgia Institute of Technology graduates, raised $3 million in funding for their education technology startup. In 2019, the graduates launched Inspirit, STEM learning experience garnered for middle and high school students. Inspirit is set to become publicly available for participate later this year, but there is a sign-up waitlist open. Find out more here.

Together, we can and will get through this.


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