In 2006, TOMS began selling simple canvas shoes. But the business itself was not simple, because it was created to be equal parts shoe seller and shoe charity: For each pair purchased, the company donated another pair to a poor child somewhere in the world. TOMS became wildly popular, especially among the young and hip. The company doesn't release sales figures but says it's given away more than 1 million pairs of shoes. And last week, founder Blake Mycoskie announced that TOMS will now sell sunglasses. Each pair purchased will allow TOMS to subsidize one pair of eyeglasses or a cataract surgery procedure for someone in a Third World country.
Even by the most generous calculations, only 8 percent of the work that the Museum of Modern Art exhibits is by women (though most other art-world institutions don't fare much better). Only about 23 percent of solo gallery shows at top New York sites feature pieces by female artists. And there's nothing close to parity on the annual "power lists" in the art world (Artforum's, Art + Auction's, and ArtReview's), with consistently only 15 percent of names belonging to women.
Why isn't there more gender equality in the art world?
Last week, the federal government announced an unprecedented funding commitment of $216 million to programs -- old and new, rural and urban -- designed to alleviate homelessness nationwide. The grants exceed last year's total by $26 million, with more than $16 million for novel approaches.
Last week, we experienced a funny study in our public dialogue on race. On Monday, a video of Chris Rock -- in which he discussed how backward it is to say the nation had made "progress" in racial relations because, in fact, white people had "become less crazy" -- went viral. By Thursday, Donald Trump was bragging about his solid relationship with "the Blacks."
Perhaps this week Chris Rock will have to release a statement rescinding his previous vote of confidence in "the Whites" and while he's at it, apologize to disability rights activist who have long been fighting for people to stop using words like "crazy."
"All Americans have a duty to defend the American dream."
Who, might you ask, recently bellowed these words to a packed house of cheering, concerned citizens?
A GOP leader? Maybe one of the up-and-comers, held up as evidence of the American dream's continued existence, like Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina? A Tea Party patriot, like Minnesota's Rep. Michelle Bachman? Or a conservative pundit perhaps? Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck?