Our Work

Communities Lacking Equal Access to Education

For generations, communities 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.

Communities in Need

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.

Women 70%

The wealth gap persists regardless of the 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.

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.

Median Black Household 75%

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.

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

Why STEAM?

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) represents one of the fastest growing—and highest-paid—job sectors. But to prepare students for success in the changing workforce, young people need to learn more than technical skills. They need to develop the creativity, ingenuity and empathy that comes from the study of music, language and arts. From STEM to STEAM, educators recognize that a well-rounded education that includes Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math (STEAM) is the best way to prepare students for success in the modern economy.

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

Engineers 14%
Computer Professionals 25%
Physical Science Professionals 39%

Currently, women only comprise 14% of engineers, 25% of computer professionals and 39% of physical science professionals.

Women in computer occupations have declined since 1990, from 32% to 25%.

Working Population 29%
Advanced Manufacturing 16%
Engineering Workforce 12%

African American and Latino workers represent approximately 29% of the working population but comprise only 16% of the advanced manufacturing and 12% of the engineering workforces.

Creating a more diverse STEAM workforce is a social imperative.

From STEAM education to mentorship training, entrepreneurship and more, the T.D. Jakes Foundation serves people across the entire lifecycle and is poised to become the premier source for connecting companies with highly skilled, in-demand talent.

From finance to healthcare, many industries now use artificial intelligence (AI) to automate monotonous tasks and compute large amounts of data. But the benefits of AI also pose new risks. While many have heralded AI for its ability to make fact-based judgments, studies have shown that AI algorithms are beginning to exhibit the same unconscious biases exhibited by humans.

The T.D. Jakes Foundation strives to bring greater gender and racial parity to STEAM fields, ensuring that the engineers who design these algorithms look like the broader society.

Business Partnerships

The TD Jakes Foundation connects global businesses with the talent and resources to succeed in a highly competitive environment. From executive summits to podcasts and masterclasses, the T.D. Jakes Foundation can create custom programs to fit the needs and priorities of each partner company.

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!