T.D. Jakes Foundation Weekly Updates – October 4, 2021

October 4, 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 partner with Frito-Lay, Dallas Summer Musicals and Dallas ISD to bring a groundbreaking STEAM education program themed to Broadway-smash hit “HAMILTON.” Over the course of multiple weeks, 3,400 theatre students and teachers from 25 Dallas ISD High Schools will participate in specially created curriculum that relates to the HAMILTON production. The lesson plan culminates with all the participating students and teachers attending a full performance of HAMILTON at the Music Hall at Fair Park, where the show will play from November 16 through December 5, 2021. Read more about this exciting partnership here.

With the launch of the PATHWAY program, we’re talking to some of the exceptional candidates in our Skills Database. For our latest profile, we spoke to Bobby Bryant, who is hoping to return to her first passion—marketing. She has significant experience working with large events and is ideally looking for a position as a director or VP of integrated marketing. Read about Bobby here.

The T.D. Jakes Foundation PATHWAY program, and its Virtual Hiring Platform, a 365 days-a-year program, is 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!

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Despite what recruiting brochures or company ads might suggest, U.S. companies lag far behind most of the world when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Read more in Axios.

The film Hidden Figures presents the jarring juxtaposition between a society making the kind of technological leaps required to put a man into space at the same time as continuing to racially segregate society and diminish the role women played in such endeavors. While Katherine Johnson, the brilliant mathematician who was the lead story in the film, eventually received the recognition her talents deserved, in an age of #MeToo and BLM, it would be naive to believe that our journey towards equality has been achieved. Read more in Forbes about creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.

While businesses continue to talk about the need for greater diversity, equity and inclusion within their companies, diversity consultant Jina Etienne offers another key component to consider as part of the DEI conversation — one that many might be overlooking.

Five years ago, Harvard Business Review (HBR) noted that a series of high-profile DEI-related lawsuits had finally gotten the attention of large corporations. Just a few years later, organizations that had paid millions to settle discrimination claims found themselves back at the table facing new class-action lawsuits. As organizations started to embed DEI plans into their strategic initiatives, many saw little or no progress with their actual DEI metrics. HBR reported that from 1985 to 2014, among all U.S. companies with more than 100 employees, the proportion of Black men in management increased just slightly—from 3% to 3.3%. White women saw bigger gains—from 22% to 29%—but their numbers haven’t budged since then. Read more in Fast Company.

Digital Divide

The 2021-2022 school year is the third affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Teachers, students and families continue to struggle with the fallout from digital inequity, as learners without devices or internet access at home fall increasingly behind on their schoolwork. Fortunately, as the digital divide has widened, so too has attention to the issue and, with it, new solutions to ensure equal opportunity for all students. Read about how business can help close the digital divide for students and families

For Jessica Rosenworcel, acting chair of the Federal Communications Commission, the moment is now to get the U.S. on the right track toward ending the digital divide. That’s what she’s been trying to do with an influx of federal money aimed at getting Americans connected to the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more in Wired.

Education Update

Dallas ISD’s innovative LEAD department has launched new programs to help create homegrown leaders. LEAD, which stands for Leader Excellence, Advancement and Development, aims to cultivate leadership that inspires an unwavering commitment to equity and excellence in Dallas ISD schools to ensure that all students are career- and college-strong. Read more here.

Texas students lost about a decade of academic gains in math during the pandemic and roughly five years of progress in reading. Dallas students — many of whom are among North Texas’ most vulnerable kids — bore the brunt of COVID-19′s chaos. They were forced to navigate inconsistent internet access, food insecurity, job losses in their families and other trauma that made keeping up with schoolwork a challenge. On Tuesday, join Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, Michele Willis, a special education teacher at Umphrey Lee Elementary, and Jerry Hawkins, the executive director of nonprofit Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation, for a free virtual discussion on how the pandemic has shaped students’ experiences in the classroom; the model for pandemic recovery; and goals schools should be working toward in the coming years. Click here for more information.

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.

Help Wanted

Chip makers in Oregon, including industry giant Intel, are hiring students who are still at college and airing TV ads to attract workers and so they can meet soaring demand for their products. Read more in Business Insider.

Job seekers are touting their vaccine status on resumes or LinkedIn profiles, but what could be a boost for a candidate’s application puts employers at risk. While vaccine mandates are largely legal and increasingly common, employment lawyers warn that hiring managers can discriminate—even unintentionally—by choosing or weeding out applicants based on Covid-19 inoculation status alone. The practice clashes with federal protections for people with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs. Bloomberg Law has more.

Two dozen advocacy groups will send a letter to members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable today, calling on individual CEOs to pressure the influential business groups to get behind Democrats’ multitrillion-dollar reconciliation bill, given their support for paid leave and other policies included in the social spending package. Politico has more.


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