When my son, Isaac, was a year old, our family crash-landed in Brookline, Mass., for medical reasons. My husband was recovering from a near fatal blood-clotting episode and weeks in the I.C.U. It was very far away from where we had started as expatriates working in Dubai, the jet-setting city we’d long called home. We settled in New England, uncertain if my husband would ever work again or if he needed a high-risk brain surgery. But the doctors told us we were lucky, the odds had strongly been in favor of his death.

Then, a year after we moved, I woke up one morning with spots in my eye. I visited five specialists before finding out I have an autoimmune disease that could threaten my sight. My vision is currently preserved by a strong cocktail of medicines, but that could change at any point.

Before the coronavirus, we felt giddy to be alive; to be parents together, to be back to work and starting to build a new life for ourselves, one in which my husband was healthy enough to run races with our son in the park across the street from our home, just like the other fathers. Then the pandemic struck and the bottom dropped out for us — and for the rest of the world.

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Women make up an increasingly mighty minority in the trades. Eleven professionals discuss their experience working in the traditionally male-dominated field

In the United States, the trades are booming. However, according to recent data from the National Association of Women in Construction, women make up just 9.9% of the construction industry in the country, with nearly a third of that stat attributed to female sales and office personnel.

To those women seeking to break into the trades, one roadblock can be the intimidation of learning on a job where they are likely the only female. In 2014, in Detroit, Samantha Farrugia set out to narrow the gender gap by founding Women Who Weld, a nonprofit that offers subsidized, and in some cases free, courses to participants who want to learn that skill—then helps place them with employers after they complete the training. The American Welding Society projects that by 2025, there will be a need for some 400,000 jobs in welding, and yet females only represent 5.3% of the current workforce.

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As Sarah Whiting, the new dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, prepares to publicly meet her community for the first time, her chosen anthem, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” blasts through the school’s Piper Auditorium. Students and professors pour in through the doors, a sea of black jeans and Moleskine notebooks. Whiting takes the stage with her old friend architectural historian K. Michael Hays—a virtual fireplace video crackling behind them—and the muscular banter begins. Read More…

Image Credit: Tony Luong for Architectural Digest

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On May 16, a group of 26 honours middle school students and their teachers visiting the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston on a self-guided field tour reported multiple incidents of racism, including being closely followed by security guards and crossing paths with a white patron who hissed an expletive as they entered a gallery.

The MFA responded with a public apology and promised to take steps to become more welcoming to all audiences. The museum recruited a former Massachusetts attorney general, Scott Barshbargar, to conduct an investigation; the student/teacher group from Helen Y. Davis Academy secured the pro bono services of the nonprofit Lawyers for Civil Rights Boston; and the current state attorney general, Maura Healey, opened an inquiry as well. Read More…

Image Credit: Elise Amendola/Associated Press

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