T.D. Jakes Foundation Weekly Updates – July 19, 2021

July 19, 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

On August 17, the T.D. Jakes Foundation will host its first Virtual Hiring Expo, matching candidates from underrepresented communities to hundreds of open positions at leading companies. To qualify, candidates should submit their information to become part of the PATHWAY program’s skills database.

Dr. Jalaal Hayes graduated from high school at 15, college at 18 and became the youngest PhD in applied chemistry in the country at age 22. In our most recent blog post, Dr. Hayes shares details of his remarkable life story and why he’s passionate about exposing underrepresented communities to STEAM careers.

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.

DEI in the Workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on women’s personal and professional lives. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the yearlong pandemic has already set gender parity efforts globally back by more than a generation. In a new report from Deloitte Global entitled, Women @ Work: A global outlook,  they found that women are more stressed and pessimistic about their careers than before the pandemic. They also found that the pandemic has negatively impacted women’s wellbeing and relationship with their employer, but longstanding non-inclusive workplace cultures also continue to stall women’s career progression. Read more in Forbes.

Black Americans are still significantly falling behind white people economically. Harvard Business Review estimates a $220 billion annual wage disparity with Black workers currently concentrated in lower-wage jobs, underrepresented in higher-paying occupations and paid less, on average, than white workers in the same occupational categories, especially in managerial and leadership roles. Read more on their latest research.

Women need help, especially those just starting or changing careers. One valuable source of help is strong, effective mentors, who can guide women through new and unprecedented challenges. Read more in Forbes about the value of mentoring.

Combining job training and child care could be the ‘magic road’ to single moms’ economic security. Watch more from PBS.

Education Update

The fall has experts worried about the long-term impact of the pandemic on the less-well-off. During recessions, enrollment at community colleges tends to increase as those who become unemployed go back to school. But the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on low-income and non-white Americans, populations that community colleges tend to serve, created a plunge in community college attendance during the pandemic.

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is calling on the White House to encourage federal agencies, state and local governments, and others to focus resources on increasing the quality and accessibility of science education — from kindergarten through the end of a postsecondary degree (K-16). Read more here.

Better access to social workers and mental health support within school systems would dramatically help reduce the risk of suicide for youths, researchers said. Suicide rates for those ages 10 to 24 have risen by 50% over the past two decades, and some educators are calling the increase a public health crisis. And the COVID-19 pandemic — which led to many kids falling behind academically or not having access to school counselors — has only heightened their concern.

With all the recent attention to diversity and equity — especially among higher education faculty — few look to HBCUs as exemplars of faculty diversity. However, they should. Forbes has more.

Major League Efforts 

Major League Baseball announced recently that it would donate up to $150 million to the Players Alliance, a nonprofit formed last summer by more than 100 Black current and former players in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The donation is aimed at helping build Black participation in the sport.


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