October 7, 2010

October MBF Favorite Picks

No matter what in life, there will always be conflicts or issues we all have to struggle with and overcome. However, whether it is environmental, economic, or personal, the weapon of choice is always fueled by empowerment and belief in the self and/or community. Considering October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, today's picks focus specifically on the topic of empowerment, highlighting people, books, films, and events that reiterate the value of personal and/or cooperative strength.

Our hope is that you will be inspired as you read through our personal selections and remember that we all have the same capabilities to encourage and empower one another. And as always, we encourage you to share with us any other stories you find relevant to today's topic.

photo via: Ralph Lauren

1. Pink Pony Womens Clothing for Breast Cancer from Ralph Lauren Polo
Ralph Lauren Polo has launched a month long breast cancer awareness campaign. 10% of all proceeds will support the Pink Pony Fund for Cancer Care and Prevention. With a charity auction and a collection of men's and women's clothing, sportswear, accessories, and gifts, this is definitely the most fashionable way to show your support! (Click here to shop and learn more about it.)

image via: Amazon

2. Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family by Condoleezza Rice
"Condoleezza Rice has excelled as a diplomat, political scientist, and concert pianist.  Her achievements run the gamut from helping to oversee the collapse of communism in Europe and the decline of the Soviet Union, to working to protect the country in the aftermath of 9-11, to becoming only the second woman - and the first black woman ever -- to serve as Secretary of State... As comfortable describing lighthearted family moments as she is recalling the poignancy of her mother’s cancer battle and the heady challenge of going toe-to-toe with Soviet leaders, Rice holds nothing back in this remarkably candid telling. This is the story of Condoleezza Rice that has never been told, not that of an ultra-accomplished world leader, but of a little girl – and a young woman -- trying to find her place in a sometimes hostile world and of two exceptional parents, and an extended family and community, that made all the difference. " (Click here to continue....)

photo via: A Peace Treaty

3. A Peace Treaty
A Peace Treaty creates employment for skilled artisans working in places of socio-political strife, effectively supporting their craft while elevating their products to the levels of high design for an exclusive, international audience.  Each season, A Peace Treaty travels to a particular region and seeks out local village artisans to re-define an accessory, creating limited edition pieces in style-unique colorways. The S/S 2010 season comprises of three collections, hailing from Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan. (Click here to view all collections.)

video via: YouTube

4. Last Train Home by Lixin Fan
"Every spring, China’s cities are plunged into chaos, as all at once, a tidal wave of humanity attempts to return home by train. It is the Chinese New Year. The wave is made up of millions of migrant factory workers. The homes they seek are the rural villages and families they left behind to seek work in the booming coastal cities. It is an epic spectacle that tells us much about China, a country discarding traditional ways as it hurtles towards modernity and global economic dominance.(Click here to continue...

photo via: TEDWomen

5. TEDWomen: Reshaping the Future
" The first ever TEDWomen -- co-produced with The Paley Center for Media -- invites men and women to explore this question in depth: From the developing world, where a single micro-loan to a single girl can transform a village; to the West, where generations of educated women are transforming entire industries. The diverse international program takes a long look at women through the lens of change agent, intellectual innovator, idea champion ..." (Click here to continue...)

photo via: Osborn Handcrafted 

6. Osborn Shoes
Launched in 2009, Osborn offers the marketplace a unique collection of handmade footwear cultivated with positivity, hope and dedication. Co-founder Aaron Osborn, whose family runs one of the largest orphanages in Guatemala, stumbled upon the idea for Osborn in 2007 when he met an out-of-work cobbler while doing charitable work in the country. He and co-founder, Carla Venticinque, were searching for a way to combine their artistic backgrounds with their desire to uplift their adopted homeland. This search lead to Osborn Shoes. That first cobbler still works with them full time, as do a small driven team of 20 other gifted artisans. Nestled in the volcanic mountains outside Guatemala CIty, these artisans craft shoes in a time honored old-world manufacturing environment dedicated to integrity and quality. 
Osborn's vertically integrated manufacturing practice sets them apart, establishing a work environment that is sweat-shop free, worker driven and brand focused. Each shoe is signed by its maker, as a testament to the sense of pride for the maker, as well as its wearer. (Click here to continue...)

METI - Handmade School, Rudrapur, Bangladesh
Anna Heringer and Eike Roswag
photo via: MoMA

7. Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement, MoMA
October 3, 2010 - January 3, 2011
This exhibition presents eleven architectural projects on five continents that respond to localized needs in underserved communities. These innovative designs signal a renewed sense of commitment, shared by many of today’s practitioners, to the social responsibilities of architecture. Though this stance echoes socially engaged movements of the past, the architects highlighted here are not interested in grand manifestos or utopian theories. Instead, their commitment to a radical pragmatism can be seen in the projects they have realized, from a handmade school in Bangladesh to a reconsideration of a modernist housing project in Paris, from an apartheid museum in South Africa to a cable car that connects a single hillside barrio in Caracas to the city at large. These works reveal an exciting shift in the longstanding dialogue between architecture and society, in which the architect’s methods and approaches are being dramatically reevaluated. They also propose an expanded definition of sustainability that moves beyond experimentation with new materials and technologies to include such concepts as social and economic stewardship. Together, these undertakings not only offer practical solutions to known needs, but also aim to have a broader effect on the communities in which they work, using design as a tool. (Click here to continue...

photo via: Amazon

8. Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela is widely considered to be one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has bestowed his entire extant personal papers, which offer an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life.
A singular international publishing event, Conversations with Myself draws on Mandela’s personal archive of never-before-seen materials to offer unique access to the private world of an incomparable world leader. Journals kept on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle of the early 1960s; diaries and draft letters written in Robben Island and other South African prisons during his twenty-seven years of incarceration; notebooks from the postapartheid transition; private recorded conversations; speeches and correspondence written during his presidency—a historic collection of documents archived at the Nelson Mandela Foundation is brought together into a sweeping narrative of great immediacy and stunning power. An intimate journey from Mandela’s first stirrings of political consciousness to his galvanizing role on the world stage, Conversations with Myself illuminates a heroic life forged on the front lines of the struggle for freedom and justice. (Click here to continue....)

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