T.D. Jakes Foundation Weekly Updates – September 27, 2021

September 27, 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

The T.D. Jakes Foundation is excited to host our second PATHWAY “Spotlight” with recruiters from TBK Bank on Wednesday, Sept. 29 from 10 am to 2 pm CT. You will have an opportunity to meet with live recruiters and learn about open positions. To sign up for the PATHWAY program and be connected with companies like TBK Bank looking for diverse talent, go to tdjfoundation.org/pathway-program and submit your information.

On Friday, Hattie Hill, President & CEO of the T.D. Jakes Foundation will participate in a panel discussion at the UNCTAD15 Creative Industries and Trade Digitalization Forum, which aims to tackle the big questions facing the creative sector as digital transformation continues to shape its future. Click here to register for the three-day event.

Last week was North Texas Giving Day. Thanks to your generous donations, we can continue to serve our most vulnerable communities, provide support to move people into living-wage jobs, expose young people to the skills and tools of the future and ensure all people have an opportunity to live up to their full potential. To our contributors, thank you for your generous gift and for being a part of this incredible community.

Education Update

In the latest Brookings Institution TechTank podcast episode, co-host Nicol Turner Lee welcomes Jon Valant, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies and Director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution; Amina Fazlullah, Director of Equity Policy for Common Sense Media; and Alejandro Roark, Executive Director of the Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership. They delve into issues such as will schools be ready to shift to a remote option if the virus continues to run rampant in student populations? And have we learned any lessons from the first-round of school closures, especially strategies for making digital access more universally available to historically disadvantaged communities? Click here to listen.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas ISD students fell behind during COVID-19, and the communities that were among the hardest hit by the pandemic were mostly low-income neighborhoods where many Black and Latino families live. But students across the district have suffered from food insecurity, unemployment in their families, inconsistent internet access and other trauma in the past year and a half. Read how Dallas ISD is taking steps to reverse the damage caused by COVID and improve outcomes for those most affected by the pandemic.

Dallas ISD will host COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics at various campuses throughout the district. At the clinics, participants can receive their first or second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on the designated dates. The vaccine is free for anyone 12 years old or older. For a listing of currently scheduled COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics, please click here.

STEAMing to the Future

According to a recent nationwide study, women make up only 28% of the U.S. workforce in occupations that require training in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The underrepresentation of women in these fields seems likely to continue, as men outnumber women majoring in most STEM undergraduate programs. This disparity represents a significant loss of opportunity for American business leaders. And while some progress has been made, there’s still so much to do. CEOWorld Magazine has more.

Our lives have gone digital. From the products we use daily to the content we consume online, tech companies are increasingly influencing the direction of humanity and creating the solutions of the future. The problem is that we have too few women working in these companies—especially in top leadership roles—which threatens to leave half the world’s population out of the conversations shaping our collective future. Forbes takes a look at how employers and educators alike can help address the tech gender gap by taking an active stance on this issue.

Help Wanted

Major corporations from Amazon to UPS have announced hiring sprees in recent weeks – a welcome sign for the job market and the broader economy. America’s employers added just 235,000 jobs in August, a surprisingly weak gain after two months of robust hiring.  However, with the holiday season fast approaching, companies are trying to staff up to meet the demand for orders. Read more here.

Digital Divide

Some aspects of the digital divide have persisted for years or decades. Take broadband access. According to the FCC’s Eighth Broadband Progress Report, 19 million Americans—6% of the population—lack reliable broadband access at threshold speeds. About a quarter of all rural Americans lack reliable broadband. Other aspects have deepened or arisen anew amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But fortunately, some stakeholders are doing important work to address the digital divide right now. Forbes has more.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a stated value for many companies but making meaningful changes to support DEI often proves more difficult in practice. Forbes takes a look at five meaningful ways to support DEI in any organization.

High-performing teams don’t just happen. They require keen recruitment, staffing, and training strategies — all of which should focus on creating a diverse and inclusive culture. Research shows that inclusive teams perform up to 30% better in high-diversity environments. CIO considers 5 ways diversity and inclusion help teams perform better.

Regardless of where your company is at in the D&I process, there are plenty of resources to strategize, measure and evaluate the progress of a plan that best fits your company’s mission. Erika Lance, Chief Human Resources Officer, for Knowbe4, Inc., provides tips on making diversity and inclusion changes that stick for Newsweek.


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