T.D. Jakes Foundation Weekly Updates – September 13, 2021

September 13, 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

From Ghana to Dallas, Badiana Osabutey has accomplished a lot in her career, including earning a doctorate in organizational leadership and management. In our latest Pathway Stories, we learn how Badiana went from working in accounting to becoming a nurse and how she’s hoping to find a position that allows her to tap into all her skills. Watch Badiana’s inspiring story here.

Recently, Hattie Hill, our President & CEO, spoke with the Dallas Examiner about the T.D. Jakes Foundation PATHWAY Program, which was created to help people achieve self-sufficiency, find a living-wage job and career success. Read more here.

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!

Help Wanted

Companies are desperate to hire, and yet some workers still can’t seem to find jobs. Here may be one reason why: The software that sorts through applicants deletes millions of people from consideration. Read the Wall Street Journal’s look into the use of automation in filling job vacancies.

Will the end of pandemic unemployment benefit programs in September push more workers back into jobs? Even big corporations, which have more power to offer higher pay and more generous benefits than small businesses, don’t seem confident that their ability to hire workers amid a record labor shortage is going to get any easier fast. CNBC has more.

Looking for a new job? You might be required to provide proof of vaccination to get one. The share of job postings per million that require candidates to be vaccinated against COVID-19 specifically is up 34% in the first week of August compared to the same period in July, according to data from the jobs site Indeed; meanwhile, the share of roles requiring job-seekers be vaccinated in general, but don’t mention Covid-19 specifically, is up by 90% month-over-month. Read more here.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Denny’s committed to improving its diversity, equity and inclusion practices in 1994 after settling a discrimination lawsuit. Since then, the organization has worked to improve in three areas: talent, supply chain and continuous improvement. Harvard Business Review writes that in the wake of a racial reckoning in the United States, other companies will need to get equally serious about their DEI efforts.

Gal Almog, cofounder and CEO at Talenya, says it’s not sufficient for companies to rely on EEO-1 data and a few other internal statistics to determine where they are on DEI because self-reported data can be inaccurate. Companies should incorporate other relevant information that goes beyond employee demographic makeup to build an effective DEI strategy. Read her piece in Fast Company.

STEAMing Towards the Future

The University of Texas at Dallas has been awarded a $1 million, three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE grant to enhance its efforts to recruit and retain more women tenure-track faculty members in STEM fields. Read more here.

A local group of women is full “STEAM” ahead when it comes to getting young girls excited about careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The enthusiasm of the Dallas Chapter of the Links is being poured into young ladies across North Texas through their STEAM Academy. NBC 5 has more.

Women account for only 29% of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) labor force and 34.5% of STEM faculty at the nation’s colleges and universities. Women of color are even more underrepresented — making up 4.8% of the STEM workforce and 3.8% of STEM faculty. For decades, researchers have told us that “girls and women are systematically tracked away from science and math throughout their educations, limiting their training and options to go into these fields as adults.” The challenge is how early do educators and parents need to start encouraging girls to eliminate this gender gap. Read more in Forbes.

Education Update

A recent report prepared for the Ohio Department of Education found that pandemic-related declines in student achievement, from March 2020 to spring 2021, are roughly equivalent to students missing one half to one full year’s worth of learning in math (students in later grades had greater declines) and between one third and one half of a year’s worth of learning in English language arts, depending on the grade. Read the report here.

Following updated guidance from the Texas Education Agency, Dallas ISD is notifying all teachers, staff and families of all students in a classroom if someone in the classroom tests positive for COVID-19. The district is also notifying all teachers, staff and families of all students in an extracurricular activity or after-school program if someone from that activity or program tests positive for COVID-19. Read more about the district’s policy here.

The DISD Hub recently spoke with Sharon Quinn, deputy chief of the district’s Racial Equity Office, to ask about some of the vestiges of segregation and what the district is doing to address them. Read her thoughts here.


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