In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need Black History Month, (or Women’s History Month, for that matter). Their many contributions to our nation would be woven into American History classes at every level. But we don’t live in a perfect world, their contributions often go uncovered, and efforts at inclusion are being met in too many quarters with resistance. (Fortunately, there are fabulous resources for lifelong learning to fill in the gaps post-graduation.)
This is not a political blog, but sometimes politics, home design and housing intersect and I explore those occasions when I feel I can be helpful. I did that in my latest Forbes.com article on fair housing barriers that persist to this day. Despite laws being passed 55 years ago to address discrimination, problems on both the buying and selling ends continue. I love that the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, which I came across last year at a community event, studies this issue in its comprehensive annual reports, and is hosting a conference this week to help its professional members and minority communities they serve. You can read my piece on the group and its efforts here.
Buying and selling real estate still poses financial and safety obstacles
for Black Americans
You’ve probably read about the shocking disparities in maternal mortality and severe complications among Black women. Tennis great Serena Williams has shared her personal crisis, putting a face on this tragedy. Did you know that dementia also impacts Black individuals at much higher rates than Whites? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Older Black Americans are twice as likely to have dementia than older white Americans.” I’ll be covering ways to make a loved one with dementia’s home safer and more comfortable with three experts next month. *** Please share this important March 15 Wellness Wednesday event link with the caregivers you know who are coping with this extraordinary challenge.
Last year, I took on California’s Reparations Task Force in a San Diego Union-Tribune opinion piece advocating for a corrective GI Bill. Did you know that more than a million Black WWII vets were locked out of the nation’s most successful wealth-building program of the last century? I didn’t until fairly recently, and I thought the state could – and should – do something about it. You can read that piece here.
On a lighter note, there are incredibly talented Black designers and architects working today, many of whom don’t get the recognition they deserve. I loved reading about one of my favorites in the Washington Post today. Sheila Bridges (AKA @HarlemToileGirl for her creative pattern) was selected by Vice President Kamala Harris (and presumably her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff) to complete an interior design project on the official VP’s residence. You can see that here, even if you’re not a WaPo subscriber. I’m ‘gifting’ the link for Gold Notes readers to enjoy here.
Architect Kimberly Dowdell, AIA is set to become the 100th president of the American Institute of Architects in 2024. “As the 295th living Black woman to earn an architectural license in the U.S., I am keen to help young women and people of color,” said Ms. Dowdell, who will be the first Black woman president of AIA. You can read about the historic election of this impressive leader here.
Coming to Clubhouse next week:
What did we love at Design & Construction Week? I asked three industry friends — one luxury architect, one kitchen and bath designer and trend watcher, and one smart home technology pro — what they loved at the combined Kitchen & Bath Industry Show / International Builders Show expos.
Find out in our next WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS conversation on Clubhouse. The discussion takes place next week, March 1, at 4 pm EST, 1 pm PST (and all the related time zones). I hope you’ll join us.
COMING UP THIS YEAR:
- 3/1 Kitchen & Bath Industry & Builder’s Show Pro Recap
- 3/15 Wellness Design and Dementia
- 4/5 Tile Trends and Coverings Show Preview
- 5/3 Designing with Water Features (Swim Spas, Fountains, Pools, Etc.)
What other topics do you want to hear about in the new year? Comment below and let me know.
PAST CLUBHOUSE RECORDINGS
Here are links to Clubhouse recordings from past sessions.
- 2/15 Designing with Fire Features (Fireplaces, Fire Tables, Fire Pits, Etc.) — Recording Link
- 1/18 Healthy Home Improvements with Best ROI — Recording Link
- 1/4 Creating Home Fitness Rooms — Recording Link
- 12/7 Best Healthy Home Upgrades for 2023 — Recording Link
- 11/16 Top Kitchen & Bath Design Trends — Recording Link
- 11/2 Creating Serene Home Spaces — Recording Link
- 10/19 Creating a Quieter Home — Recording Link
- 9/21 Creating Great Garage Spaces — Recording Link
- 9/7 Smart Home Innovations — Recording Link
- 8/17 Creating Healthy Work from Home Spaces — Recording Link
- 8/3 Creating Healthy Back to School Home Spaces — Recording Link
- 7/20 Wellness Benefits of Co-living — Recording Link
- 7/6 Beat the Heat — Recording Link
- 6/15 Designing with Plants — Recording Link
- 6/1 Wellness Design and Pets — Recording Link
- 5/18 Wellness Design and Art — Recording Link
- 5/4 Spa Bathrooms — Recording Link
- 4/20 Wellness Design and Appliances — Recording Link
- 3/16 Healthy Bedroom Spaces — Recording Link
- 3/2 Wellness Design and Tile Trends — Recording Link
- 2/16 Wellness Design and Autism — Recording Link
- 2/2 New Technology Ideas — Recording Link
- 1/19 Healthy Pantry Spaces — Recording Link
- 1/5 Top 2022 Wellness Design Trends — Recording Link
- Find these links on their new archive page!
Here are a few links that could be helpful to you in living a safe, healthy life at home:
- Plant-related: Indoor gardening — Real Simple
- Aging-related: Downsizing can be daunting task — Washington Post via San Diego Union-Tribune
- Remodeling-related: Are rain showers worth it — Better Homes and Gardens