T.D. Jakes Foundation Weekly Updates – September 20, 2021

September 20, 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

North Texas Giving Day (NTX Giving Day) is this Thursday! Help us make NTX Giving Day a success by contributing any amount  and encouraging your friends to support the T.D. Jakes Foundation’s mission of bringing-life changing opportunities to those struggling the most. No amount is too small—and all donations are vital to helping us meet our goal. The amount you contribute will be combined with other donations to fund our STEAM programs, which include our groundbreaking virtual after-school camps, and our PATHWAY program. Click here to donate today!

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!

Joseph is one of the PATHWAY program’s early success stories. We’re so proud to have helped put Joseph on his pathway to success as a UX designer. Watch his story here.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Wall Street has long had a reputation for being a boys’ club with a diversity problem. But recently, the biggest banks have done something surprising: elevated women and minority-owned banks as partners in deals. Read more in Axios.

In 2020, the first Amplify DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) virtual conference was held and attracted over 900 attendees. This year’s event, which will take place September 27 to 29, will be even larger with over 80 guest speakers slated to talk about DEI issues in the workplace, including inclusive leadership, how to build a more inclusive environment, attracting and retaining diverse talent, and allyship and conscious bias. Click here to find out more and how to register for this free event.

The protests following George Floyd’s murder last year forced many businesses to recognize their shortcomings on diversity and inclusion. The effect was immediate: research by the Royal Bank of Canada last year showed 40% of S&P 500 companies discussed diversity policies during earnings calls in the second quarter of 2020, up from 6% the same time the previous year. One result of the internal and external debates — and heightened by the growing inequalities at work exposed by the pandemic — is that more organizations are appointing a chief diversity officer. The FBI recruited its first in April, and Harvard Business School did the same in June. Read more in the Financial Times on the evolution of the chief diversity officer.

STEAMing to the Future

Walter McFall was a Black chemical engineer who knew what it felt like to be the only one in the room. He wanted that to change. He helped many young women and people of color break into engineering and “did it with humor and compassion,” said Anne Perusek, publications director at the Society of Women Engineers. Read more about Walter’s amazing life in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The quartet of newly minted citizen astronauts comprising the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission safely splashed down in the Atlantic off Florida’s coast on Saturday, completing a three-day flight of the first all-civilian crew ever sent into Earth orbit. The successful launch and return of the mission, the latest in a recent string of rocket-powered expeditions bankrolled by their billionaire passengers, marked another milestone in the fledgling industry of commercial astro-tourism, 60 years after the dawn of human spaceflight. Read more from Reuters.

Udacity, the online learning and talent transformation platform powering the careers of the future, recently announced that its STEM Forward with Women virtual conference will take place on September 23, 2021. Kimberly Bryant, CEO and founder, Black Girls CODE, will deliver the opening keynote on how the pandemic upended the working woman’s career path, and Ellen Pao, investor and former CEO of Reddit, and CEO and Founder of Project Include, will close the event addressing how companies can help women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industries reach success in their careers. Read more about the event here.

Help Wanted

The sheer number of jobs available in North Texas and nationwide is eye-popping, with companies actively competing to attract workers to meet online shopping demand or prepare for the upcoming holiday season or fall flu and COVID-19 inoculations. The Dallas Morning News has some of the companies actively seeking workers in North Texas.

For many looking for jobs, the situation just doesn’t make sense — there’s an incongruity between what they are hearing about jobs and what is happening on the ground. For some of the jobs available, people don’t have the right skills, or at least the skills employers say they’re looking for. Other jobs are undesirable — they offer bad pay or an unpredictable schedule, or just don’t feel worth it to unemployed workers, many of whom are rethinking their priorities. In some cases, there are a host of perfectly acceptable candidates and jobs out there, but, for a multitude of reasons, they’re just not being matched. Vox investigates the disconnect between companies looking for talent and people not finding a job.

Employers are gearing up for the annual holiday shopping rush and, once again, looking to add seasonal workers to bolster their store, warehouse and logistics ranks. Their announcements come as big chains are expecting strong holiday demand from shoppers, despite risks that the delta variant may pose to consumer spending. Consulting firm KPMG predicts holiday sales for U.S. retailers will grow 7% from last year, based on an August survey of 114 retail executives. CNN has more on who is hiring for the holidays.


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