Globally recognized entrepreneur and faith leader T.D. Jakes announced the launch of his new nonprofit organization, the T.D. Jakes Foundation, which focuses on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education, workforce preparedness and job training. The foundation’s goal is to increase diversity and inclusion, and gender equity, and connect corporations to new, highly skilled pools of talent amid increasing global competition.
With the launch of his eponymous foundation, Jakes is building on his many decades of work serving the Dallas community through programs like the Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (T.O.R.I.), which has received federal, state, city and community awards for its success in preparing former inmates convicted of non-violent crimes for the workforce, and a leadership conference focused on female empowerment. He plans to tap into his many connections in the business world to help level the playing field for women and people of color who have traditionally been underrepresented in high-paying, in-demand STEAM fields.
“Throughout my life, I’ve had the great fortune to work closely with so many different communities,” said Jakes, who will serve as Chairman of the Board. “I hope that, through this foundation, I can build bonds and create connections between businesses and people from different backgrounds—so that every person—regardless of age, race, gender or ethnicity—can achieve their full potential. This isn’t just about creating opportunity for tomorrow, next week or next month. This is about creating generational change—work that will continue for decades to come.”
To serve people of all ages and provide businesses with a trusted voice within new communities, the T.D. Jakes Foundation will focus on three core areas:
- Business Partnerships—Connect global businesses with the talent and resources to succeed in a highly competitive environment.
- Workforce Readiness—Provide people with the skills to compete in a rapidly changing workforce both by reskilling the existing workforce and developing the future workforce though programs like STEAMLife, a summer camp program that exposes students, ages 5 to 16, to hands-on projects.
- Community Building—Create Dream Centers to bring people together to provide a wealth of services, education and life skills, including financial literacy, apprenticeships and more.
“Increasing diversity and inclusion, and gender equity, in the workforce isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s a business imperative,” said Hattie Hill, President and Chief Executive Officer of the T.D. Jakes Foundation. “For companies to win the war for talent, they must bring in people with new and different perspectives. In 30-plus years of global experience, I’ve seen that a business’ competitiveness is directly linked to its culture and people.”