T.D. Jakes Foundation Weekly Updates – May 3, 2021

May 3, 2021

We want to serve as a resource.  To keep you abreast of critical issues dominating the national discourse—including diversity, equity and inclusion; the digital divide; STEAM education; entrepreneurship and small business—we’re compiling timely news and information in one place because the first step to fixing a problem is understanding it.

T.D. Jakes Foundation in Action

As we approach Mother’s Day, we revisit a blog post that our President and CEO Hattie Hill wrote last year about her mother. Sadly, though Hattie lost her mom in December, she continues to live by her example—following the sage advice that has helped her rise to the top of her chosen profession.

Did you participate in last week’s International Leadership Summit (ILS) Virtual Experience? If so, you can access the virtual platform to enjoy it all again until Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at noon, CDT. And don’t forget to mark your calendars for next year, when ILS will return in person at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, on March 31-April 2, 2022! Click here to register early!

Last week, the T.D. Jakes Foundation was proud to sponsor the Texas Women’s Foundation Leadership Forum & Awards Celebration, which honored female leaders and trailblazers making a difference in their communities through the Maura Women Helping Women and Young Leader Awards. Leading up to the celebration, we highlighted three award recipients in our blog. Find out more about Diana Mao, Jin-Ya Huang, and Cheryl Polote Williamson.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

A recent study has found that Black employees are least satisfied with their company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Hattie Hill, President & CEO of the T.D. Jakes Foundation spoke with Scripps News about this report and what employees can do to help hold their companies accountable for diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

The Government Accountability Office and House Committee on Science, Space and Technology have found that the federal government has not done enough to recruit and retain scientists who are women and people of color. Moreover, opaque hiring practices coupled with successive government shutdowns, hiring freezes and outright political censorship have damaged the federal government’s reputation among scientists. To adequately address climate change and health inequities, the federal science workforce must be diversified. Read more from NPR here.

A new report released by ZERO TO THREE, an early childhood nonprofit, found that stark inequality starts early — with babies, toddlers – and has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Read more here.

The fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic has been disastrous for women. Millions of women worldwide have been disproportionately affected by job losses, with many more left to bear the brunt of massive disruptions to childcare and education. Globally, women lost at least $800 billion in income last year, according to a new report from Oxfam International. That’s more than the combined gross domestic products of 98 countries. Read more from CNN.


The U.S. has made little progress in collecting COVID-19 vaccination data by race and ethnicity over the past four months, despite continued efforts by the Biden administration to vaccinate communities of color. The incomplete data make it hard to assess the progress. Read more from NBC news.

Education Updates

Dallas ISD recently announced its plans to merge two elementary schools in Southern Dallas. Under the plan, Pease Elementary with Bushman Elementary schools would merge, with Bushman then becoming a new STEAM academy, focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Find out more about this exciting announcement.

As the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to rise within higher education, many are left wondering how the inherent issues of bias and accuracy within AI are being addressed. The Hechinger Report takes a deeper look at this issue.

Black and Hispanic students in New York City made up less than 10 percent of those admitted into top public high schools this upcoming academic year based on the Specialized High School Admissions Test, despite comprising 40 percent of test takers. Now, some are calling for the test to be abolished. Read more here.

The Arts

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra recently announced the first cohort of members in its Leadership Development Program, a new 12-month program featuring workshops and meetings, including music and arts-101 designed to expand the experience of the next generation of business and nonprofit leaders in collaboration with cultural anthropologist Dr. Sharon Washington. This first group of leaders reflects the many facets of Dallas’ thriving business and arts industries and come from diverse backgrounds and experiences.


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