Communities in Need

Communities in Need

For generations, people of color have lacked equal access to education, which provides the best opportunity for upward mobility. To right these historic wrongs, the T.D. Jakes Foundation provides STEAM education and training to people of all ages—from early childhood, primary and secondary schooling to higher education and adult job training—to ensure that all people have the tools to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.

The Opportunity Gap is Real

According to the Schott Foundation’s Opportunity to Learn Index, students from historically disadvantaged families have just a 51% Opportunity to Learn when compared to white, non-Latino students. Without equal access to education, students won’t be able to find the jobs that will lift them out of poverty.

In America, the wealth gap follows the racial divide.

Between 1983 and 2013,

the wealth of the median black household declined 75% (from $6,800 to $1,700) and the median Latino household declined 50% (from $4,000 to $2,000).

At the same time, wealth for the median white household increased 14% from $102,000 to $116,000.

The wealth gap persists,

regardless of households’ education, marital status, age or income. For example, the median wealth for black households with a college degree equaled about 70% of the median wealth for white households without a college degree.

For every $100 in white family wealth, black families hold just $5.04.

The Economic Policy Institute found that one in four black households have zero or negative net worth, compared to less than one in ten white families without wealth.

Women and people of color are still underrepresented in the STEAM fields

Women make up only about 18% of computer science undergrads.

For the 2016-17 academic year, women earned roughly 57% of all bachelor’s degrees. But when it comes to computer science specifically, in 2015, women earned only 18% of such degrees in the nation. 

74% of middle school girls express an interest in engineering, science, and math…

But only 0.4% choose computer science as a major when they get to college. (Reported by and mentioned by the National Girls Collaborative Project)

This is according to a study published in the journal, Education Researcher, and highlighted by the Education Advisory Board.

In the 2019 STEM survey by Emerson, it was stated that 2 of 3 women said they weren’t encouraged to pursue a STEM career. (From

In comparison, 46% of middle school girls who don’t personally know women in STEM feel powerful doing STEM. Similarly, 73% of those girls who personally know women in STEM understand the relevancy of STEM, and 72% know how to pursue a STEM career. This is compared to 51% and 47% of those who don’t personally know women in STEM, respectively. (via Microsoft and a study done in partnership with KRC research)

Moms who communicate about STEM lead to girls being +20 points more interested.

From the same study above, “Having an encouraging mom who communicates about STEM is associated with girls being an average +20 points more interested in all STEM subjects compared to those girls who do not.” Having an encouraging teacher is associated with +21 points; having an encouraging dad is associated with +17 points. 

This is in addition to Hispanics, who make up 16% of the workforce, but only 7% of all STEM workers. And, of those employed adults who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, 7% are black workers and 6% are Hispanic workers of the STEM workforce.” (via Pew Research Center)

Take Action

There are many ways to get involved. We welcome donations, volunteers and corporate partnerships. If you’re a company that would like to partner with us, please reach out to learn how we can work together!