T.D. Jakes Foundation Weekly Updates – May 17, 2021

May 17, 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

This year, 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. Dallas Innovates recapped this amazing event here.

Did you participate in this year’s International Leadership Summit (ILS) Virtual Experience? If so, 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!

Today, in the United States, there are approximately 2.6 million Black-owned businesses—a number that 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 learn how to support Black-owned businesses.

COVID-19 Update

Black and Hispanic people across the United States have received a disproportionately smaller share of vaccinations to date, according to a New York Times analysis of state-reported race and ethnicity information. And vaccine disparities have grown in some of the most socially vulnerable parts of the nation, leaving many low-income communities of color with vaccination rates well below the national average. However, state and federal data reveal that the country has made some progress toward vaccine parity. Check out the latest from the New York Times.

People fully vaccinated against Covid-19 do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week. CNN has the latest on this important development.

Addressing the Digital Divide

The Brookings Institution writes that finding consensus on President Biden’s $100 billion broadband proposal will require going beyond the big headline numbers and diving into the details. There are two core issues that must be resolved if a broadband bill is to be brokered: prioritizing expenditures for unserved areas and moving beyond temporary solutions to address the adoption problem for low-income families. Read more here.

The digital divide existed long before the pandemic. In the U.S., more than 40% of adults with household incomes below $30,000 a year don’t have home broadband services, and 46% don’t have a desktop or laptop computer, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. This compares to the roughly two-thirds of adults living in high-earning households who have home broadband services, a smartphone, a desktop or laptop computer and a tablet. Another Pew survey found that over a third of low-income households with school-aged children don’t have internet at home, with Black and Hispanic teens least likely to have access. Check out more in Bloomberg here.

“People say cliché statements like, ‘The youth of today are the future of tomorrow,’ all the time but unless we do something about the digital divide now, this persistent educational gap will continue growing exponentially, leading to an immense financial and opportunity gap for generations of Americans.” Read how one high school student is working to bridge the digital divide.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

With so many money managers hiring chief diversity, equity and inclusion officers, how are these new senior executives measuring progress? Chief diversity, equity and inclusion officers in interviews with Pensions & Investments outlined tangible goals and quantifiable targets they have set for themselves and their organizations.

May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, which offers an opportunity to listen and learn about the diversity within AAPI communities, as well as how deep the connections are to all facets of American history. PBS is offering several new films and shows featuring AAPI stories will premiere this month.

Education Update

Wanted in Dallas ISD: 1,800 tutors to help students catch up after COVID-19 disruptions. Read more about the district’s new after-school program here.

Recently, a principal from Chicago wrote that the state’s upcoming standardized testing won’t tell him anything that matters, and that the pandemic has offered its own lessons about what makes a good school, a good teacher and a good student. Read more here.

The presidents of two of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions called for the full reopening of schools in the fall—in-person and five days a week. Read more in the Dallas Morning News.


Back to News & Insights