LISTEN: T.D. Jakes announces entrepreneurial competition in coordination with University of North Texas (05/31/17)

1. According to PR Newswire, T.D. Jakes, CEO of TDJ Enterprises and Robert Mong, President of the University of North Texas at Dallas announced the creation of an innovative entrepreneurial competition called MegaFutures@MegaFest, designed especially for students in grades 6-12. The competition will debut as part of this year’s MegaFest, the nationally acclaimed four-day festival of faith and family. Bishop Jakes said: “There is a hunger across America to start a company, to be one’s own boss, and to give flight to those ideas that allow our young people to drive their own destinies. That’s why we’re delighted to create a platform for young entrepreneurs from all walks of life to express their creativity in meaningful ways.” The Call for Entries is now open. Online applications are due by Monday, June 12. Participants will compete in two age groups (11-14 and 15-19), with finalists having the opportunity to present a three-minute oral presentation to the judges’ panel on Thursday, June 29. A total of $50,000 in prize monies, sponsored by PlainsCapital Bank, will be awarded.

2. According to Tech Crunch, in a not-so-surprising move, Apple has appointed Denise Young Smith as its first-ever VP of diversity and inclusion, 9 to 5 Mac first reported. TechCrunch has since confirmed that Smith officially started in this role yesterday. Smith previously served as head of worldwide human resources at Apple for three years, and has been involved in diversity programs at Apple for years. In her new role, Smith will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Regarding what happens to the human resources department, sources say the department will report to Apple SVP and CFO Luca Maestri. Apple’s last head of diversity and inclusion, Jeffrey Siminoff, only held a director role. Given where Smith’s role falls into the leadership structure, Smith will be able to have more of an impact on Apple’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. Sources say this is a “significant upscaling of responsibility” in comparison to the role Siminoff held. Sources say Apple employees view this as a positive move for the company.

3. According to the Associated Press, the Stillman College board of trustees has selected interim president Cynthia Warrick as permanent president of the private college in Alabama. The Tuscaloosa News reports that Warrick, who succeeded Peter Millet in January, becomes the seventh president of the institution at a time when the college faces financial challenges. Warrick had been interim president at Grambling State University and South Carolina State University. The search for a permanent president began last spring when Millet announced plans to step down. Board Chairman Dennis Drive said last fall that the new president would have to improve finances, energize alumni and rally community support. Warrick raised roughly $2 million through alumni outreach in March to cover debt service and summer operating expenses and boost recruiting efforts. She’s a pharmacist and health services researcher with 20 years of higher education experience.

4. According to the Associated Press, a former assistant attorney general in the Obama administration’s justice department will be the next president of Manhattan’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Daily News reports Monday that 59-year-old Karol Mason will take over on Aug. 1. She’ll be the school’s first African-American and first woman president. Mason said she would focus on the “justice” part of criminal justice. Mason succeeds Jeremy Travis, the school’s fourth president. Under his leadership the college expanded its campus. He served as president since August 2004.

5. According to Diverse Education, three African Americans were recently appointed to lead three community colleges in the state of New York. The State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees, along with the boards of Jefferson, Rockland, and Tompkins Cortland community colleges boards named Drs. Ty A. Stone, Michael A. Baston and Orinthia T. Montague to these top posts. The appointments come at a time when college officials across the country are struggling to find ways to increase the number of people of color in positions at community colleges. Stone said that the selection of three presidents of color signals that SUNY is committed to diversity, inclusion and equity. Stone said: “I think that is an important message to get out to students of color. They can see people who look like them achieve those greater levels of success.”

6. According to the Associated Press, the graphic video showing Philando Castile’s final moments after he was shot by a Minnesota police officer made headlines nearly a year ago and led to calls for changes in policing. But another video could emerge as key evidence in the case against St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who goes on trial for manslaughter this week. Jury selection begins Tuesday and is expected to last at least a couple of days. Castile, who was black, was killed July 6 during a traffic stop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights. His death got instant attention as the shooting’s gruesome aftermath was streamed live on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the car along with her young daughter. Prosecutors say Yanez shot Castile, a 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker, after Castile told him he was armed. The entire encounter lasted barely more than a minute. Authorities later found Castile had a permit to carry.

7. According to Tech Crunch, Serena Williams has joined the board of consumer survey startup SurveyMonkey, along with Intuit CEO Brad Smith. This is the tennis superstar’s first venture into Silicon Valley and, according to a SurveyMonkey spokesperson, came about at the suggestion of fellow board member and Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. Sandberg joined the board last summer after suffering the loss of her husband Dave Goldberg, who had been the company’s CEO before he unexpectedly passed away. SurveyMonkey’s current CEO Zander Lurie said that Williams’ “voice on the board sends a strong message to our company, investors, and the industry. We want change agents at our table.”

That’s all for today. You can read these stories and more online at

In closing, remember, the good news of God’s love. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Thanks for listening. May God bless your day.