Thursday, September 18, 2008

Design for the Common Good

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams' New Statement is Tailored to Enrich All of Our Lives
Ordinarily when we hear about a 'Crisis' at a design store we imagine that it means they've run out of sideboards, or that that 'must have' chaise doesn't come in that oh so crucial shade of blue, or comes with a six week lead time. There are times when what is deemed 'dire' in the design world can truly become quite trivial when we step back and take a broader picture of the world we live in. So we were pleasantly surprised when we were invited to attend the release party for 'Crisis', the new book edited by Mitchell Gold, with an impressive list of contributors, that in addition to Gold's partner Bob Williams, includes the likes of Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Congressman Barney Frank, Richard Chamberlain, Candice Gingrich, and Hilary Rosen, to name just a few. Centered around the 'personal, social, and religious pains of growing up gay in America', Gold's goal is to spread awareness of the challenges faced by not only these 40 individuals in their own lives, but for all of us who have similar personal stories. As recounted in his introduction, when asked why someone as 'successful' and 'well adjusted' as himself might be compelled to take up such a task, Gold responds, " not one more gay teen will have to go through what I did growing up." Furthermore, Gold and his fellow contributors are moved to action by the sheer number of teens and adolescents who have been victims of mistreatment and abuse, and the startling number that turn to suicide as the only means of escape.
Through the stories we find both optimism and stark realism. Through the accounts we not only see how far we have come as a society, but also how far we have yet to progress if we are to understand what equality truly is.

The release party, hosted by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams themselves, was held at their DC showroom. Contributors in attendance included Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Executive Director and CEO of the National Black Justice Association, H. Alexander Robinson, and former United Methodist Pastor Jimmy Creech, as well as news correspondent Scott Shepard, to whom the book is dedicated. Proceeds from the sale of 'Crisis: 40 Stories revealing the Personal Social, and Religious Pain and Truama of Growing Up Gay in America' benefit non-profits working with gay teenagers and their families, such as The Trevor Project, the Point Foundation, GLSEN, and PFLAG.

For more information about the book, and to order your own copy, please visit
(Or just stop by the showroom, and be sure to check out the fine selection of furnishings while you're there!)

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