June 28, 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
After protests erupted over the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer a year ago, scores of business leaders committed publicly to advance racial diversity, equity and inclusion in their companies. Hattie Hill, President & CEO of the T.D. Jakes Foundation, recently spoke with Crain’s Chicago to answer vital questions like where does diversity stand today, are companies making good on their pledges, and how much has changed?
The T.D. Jakes Foundation is proud to be a part of The Dallas Regional Chamber’s (DRC) “Take Care of Business” multimedia vaccine public awareness campaign, focused on increasing the number of North Texans, ages 16 and older, receiving at least one vaccination shot, which is now at 60% to 70% . As vaccine rates slowed in Texas and nationally, this campaign was launched to encourage more people to get vaccinated in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant, and Denton Counties, so local businesses can thrive again. Learn more about the Take Care of Business campaign.
Need additional resources around STEAM this summer? 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.
Where are all the job seekers? That’s the question on the minds of employers, economists and any casual observer of the U.S. labor market. Demand for workers is at historic levels, with over 9 million job openings at the end of April. And Indeed job postings signal that the appetite for hiring has only grown since then. At the same time, though, joblessness remains elevated, with employment down more than 7 million jobs from pre-pandemic levels. Job seekers simply aren’t snapping up all these jobs. Read more from Hiring Lab.
Around the world, airlines, restaurants and hotels can’t fill open jobs, stymieing efforts to capitalize on resurgent consumer demand. Many workers that went home when the pandemic hit haven’t returned to shipyards, factories or construction sites, halting production and stalling projects. Even Michelin-starred eateries and Wall Street banks say they can’t hire enough people to meet their needs. CNN has more.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Technology may well be one of the most powerful tools business and HR leaders have in creating diverse, equitable and inclusive (DE&I) organizations. The global social justice movement, new regulations, or even people feeling that it is the ‘right thing’ to do have all made DE&I a top business priority today. Forbes has more.
As an important step forward in MIT’s ongoing efforts to create a more welcoming and inclusive community, the Institute has hired six new assistant deans, one in each school and in the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, to serve as diversity, equity and inclusion professionals.
In the past year, companies created more roles for diversity, equity and inclusion than ever before. But there’s a serious problem: Age is rarely included in the DEI equation. And that means many employee cultures are not learning how age bias and discrimination show up in the workplace. Nor are they being schooled on the intersection of age across other dimensions of diversity, including ableism. Read more in Forbes.
Full STEAM Ahead
With women leaders breaking through defiantly and historically stubborn glass ceilings, from Vice President Harris entering the Executive Branch to Paretta Autosport’s first all-women team qualifying for the Indy 500, it’s important to consider how we attract a steady flow of women into male-dominated workplaces. Read more in Forbes about what we can do to ensure that more women leaders and innovators can come in behind the ceiling smashers to right the gender imbalance and thrive.
Despite atmospheric science being overwhelmingly white, Black scientists have ignited a change. Read more in Science Magazine about Howard University’s Graduate Program in Atmospheric Science, which has been a notable success. From 2006 to 2018, the Howard program produced 17 Black doctorate holders in atmospheric science—more than half the country’s total—and 30% of its Latina doctorate holders.
In 2016, Team USA had the most diverse women’s gymnastics team to date— a team that included Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and Laurie Hernandez and scored more than eight points over the second-place Russian team. But despite this progress, barriers still exist.
Nearly four out of every 10 Texas public school students failed state math exams after the past two years of school were disrupted by the pandemic. New testing data shows more students failed both reading and math tests in 2021 than in 2019, the last year state exams were administered. State officials suggested that learning loss was most dramatic in school districts with more students learning virtually for most of the school year. The Dallas Morning News has more.
Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed into law a bill that restricts how current events and America’s history of racism can be taught in Texas schools. It’s been commonly referred to as the “critical race theory” bill, though the term “critical race theory” never appears in it. The Texas Tribune explores the question of what is critical race theory, and why is it relevant to Texans? And why is there an effort against it in Texas — and around the nation?
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