Who We Are
The formation of Equality Dream Team Foundation occurred in August 2020 when a team of business leaders, inspired by all the civil rights community activist and people of all colors that sacrificed and gave their lives for the equality of all people, stepped forward to help disadvantaged African American inner-city youth.
WHO WE ARE?
Equality Dream Team creates economic opportunities for underserved African American youth in Chicago through entrepreneurship education and lab engagements, apprenticeships or internships, corporate introductions, and other business advancement opportunities. Its vision is to inspire the often overlooked and underserved youth to pursue meaningful, sustainable career training and opportunities through the guidance of mentors and facilitators.
WHY WE EXIST
Persistent poverty challenges youth to acquire basic life skills to escape and become self-sufficient. Literacy is one of the most prominent skills required to succeed. Without the baseline skills needed to succeed, it will hinder their success throughout their school years and later in life. The best way to increase youth literacy and set them up for educational success and achievement is to engage them in relatable material in an environment that will lead them to success. Our goal is to convert their experience to a living wage,
sustainable career option.
Leading indicators for African Americans of economic prosperity and other measures of well-being have trended upward for most of this period, with increased life expectancy, increased household incomes, and substantial gains in educational attainment. However, these very visible signs of improvement mask deep inequities that relegate tens of millions of Black Americans to second-class status, with far fewer opportunities to achieve good health, political influence, prosperity, and security than other Americans do. Most Americans cannot recognize the magnitude of these problems. For example, a 2019 study found that over 97% of respondents vastly underestimated the tremendous gap between the median wealth held by Black families ($17,000) and White families ($171,000)—a ratio of 10 to one. Respondents estimated the gap to be 80 percentage points smaller than the actual divide.
A 2017 report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) found that just 18 percent of Black eighth-graders reach reading “proficiency.” And in 2015, NAEP found that only 17 percent of Black 12th graders were proficient at reading. This means that during normal times, fewer than two out of every ten African American high school graduates have the baseline skills they need to succeed. Compare that to the nearly half of White 12th graders who tested “proficient,” a rate about three times higher than that of Black high school seniors.
There are about eight-million African American students in U.S. schools today. K-2 literacy initiatives can only help about a quarter of them. Those remaining, roughly five-million students, nearly 80 percent of the
3rd-12th graders are reading literacy deficient, leaving them disadvantaged.
A 2017 report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) found that just 18 percent of Black eighth-graders reach reading “proficiency.” And in 2015, NAEP found that only 17 percent of Black 12th graders were proficient at reading. This means that during normal times, fewer than two out of every ten African American high school graduates have the baseline skills they need to succeed.
Creating an Entrepreneurial Mindset
Equality Dream Team is a community-based 510c3 organization dedicated to providing sustainable economic and educational solutions for young people in underserved communities through an entrepreneurial mindset. Program participants participate in a multi-faceted curriculum that facilitates problem solving, critical thinking related to career decisions while working to provide potential job opportunities to young people. The EDT program is designed to create an “entrepreneurial mind set” for young people that will help create measurable economic opportunities, through courses relating to education, apprenticeship, internship, trades, corporate introductions, entrepreneurial development, and other advanced business opportunities. At the completion of the course, participants are eligible for an EDT Diploma. EDT COURSES INCLUDE BUT NOT LIMITED TO: • Educational training and development for entrprenuership mindset cirriclumn that speaks to opportuny youth. • College/university introductions • Resume training and development • Mentoring/coaching • Internship introductions • Career training • Corporate and or skilled labor referrals and introductions. The Equality Dream Team’s mission is to educate young people to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, helping all candidates become their own “Brand”. EDT will help them to understand and develop their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and issues they face through EDT’s “entrepreneurial mindset” curriculum.