T.D. Jakes Foundation Weekly Updates – August 30, 2021

August 30, 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

Elena is a single mom to three children. With support from the T.D. Jakes Foundation’s PATHWAY Program, Elena graduated in May from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She is working towards becoming a nurse practitioner in family practice in another two years. Click here to learn more about Elena’s story.

The T.D. Jakes Foundation has officially launched the PATHWAY program and its Virtual Hiring Platform, a 365 days-a-year program connecting job candidates to corporations actively recruiting diverse talent. We encourage people at all stages in their careers, from entry-level candidates and recent college graduates to experienced job seekers and advanced-degree holders to become part of the program! Visit our website to learn more and submit your information and connect with companies looking for diverse talent!

Need additional resources around STEAM as your students return to school? 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.

Dallas Education Update

The Dallas and Fort Worth school boards took steps last week to further rebuff Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning local officials from instituting mask mandates. The Dallas ISD board of trustees voted to formally join an existing multidistrict lawsuit challenging the governor’s order. “It’s about the safety of our students, staff and families,” board president Ben Mackey said. “We just gotta do what’s right, and to make our voices heard in this lawsuit is critical for us.” Read more about their efforts.

With a focus on supporting the schools and students who need it the most, Dallas ISD leaders updated trustees during the Aug. 12 board briefing on how the district is addressing learning loss caused by the pandemic. As expected, STAAR data shows the pandemic negatively impacted student learning both across the state and Dallas ISD. Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova said the district is embracing multiple strategies to help catch students up.

The Dallas Morning News recently reviewed the TEA’s and local districts’ policies on COVID-19 notifications. Click here to find out what families can expect when someone on campus tests positive for the coronavirus.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

A wide Broadway coalition of theater owners, producers, union leaders, creators and casting directors have hammered out a series of reforms and commitments for the theater industry to ensure equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. The New Deal for Broadway emerged following a summit of industry leaders organized by Black Theatre United earlier this year. It outlines reforms that are short term — to be implemented prior to Broadway’s reopening this fall — and long term over the next few years. Read more about this groundbreaking agreement.

Workplace diversity is more important than ever as job seekers, employees, vendors and consumers seek out organizations committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Companies that don’t evolve risk a dwindling candidate pool, diminished market share and lost profitability. Four executives involved with various aspects of workplace diversity shared their insights with Crain’s Chicago Business Content Studio.

Increasingly, companies are coming under pressure to disclose how diverse their teams are but gathering and making sense of that data is easier said than done. Large companies like Google, Apple and LinkedIn publish reports laying out the diversity of their employee base. This practice is increasingly becoming the norm but is also driven by regulation. Learn how one Norwegian start-up is looking to tackle this through a new employer review and data analysis platform.

Digital Divide 

Will the infrastructure deal be sufficient to close rural broadband gaps, especially among disadvantaged Black and Latino southerners? What local challenges lie ahead in the deployment of these resources? And what else should policymakers, industry, and civil society be doing to support these unconnected communities? On an episode of the TechTank podcast, host Nicol Turner Lee dives into all these issues and more.

Some of the people hit hardest by the pandemic-induced economic crisis were mothers who didn’t have the option of working from home. But that disparity is not a fluke. For years now, it’s been easier for parents whose jobs can be done remotely to juggle work and child care. But those in professions like nursing don’t have that same flexibility. The technological revolution of work is transforming family life—but not for everyone. And this digital divide is altering not just the number of kids people are having, but who is having them. The Atlantic has more.

Help Wanted

A job listing for a software developer role advertising, “We do not discriminate based on age. Experience matters. We hire old people,” should seem innocuous. Of course, companies would hire older job seekers. However, that’s an idealistic viewpoint. In practice, seasoned workers face ageism. Forbes has more.

If 2020 didn’t cause employers to rethink their staffing strategies, 2021 likely will. Whether a company’s focus is on building back or positioning for growth, many employers are busy re-aligning staffing and business goals. Staffing company PACE interacts with a diverse set of business owners, hiring managers and HR professionals across many industries and has established strategies based on a realistic assessment of the current market.

As the delta variant surges, there are many reasons people receiving unemployment benefits have given for turning down job offers. Yes, one is that unemployment provides recipients with enough money that they don’t have to work. Other reasons are personal health or medical issues, jobs that don’t provide enough hours and jobs that don’t allow remote work. But the primary reason, according to a recent Morning Consult poll: childcare obligations. Click here to read more.


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