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Counting Down To The Scandal Finale

April 13, 2018, 4:49 PM UTC
Shonda Rhimes and Kerry Washington pose together, smiling, on the red carpet for Scandal's 100th episode
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 08: Producer Shonda Rhimes (L) and actress Kerry Washington attend ABC's "Scandal" 100th Episode Celebration at Fig & Olive on April 8, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
David Livingston—Getty Images

Your week in review, in haiku.



Zuck speaks. Ryan bolts.

The President tweets. Scooter

skates? Syria waits.



<Phone> “Liev Schreiber.”

<Pause> “Mr. Cohen — you know

it’s just a show, right?”



September, Taylor?

Twitter takes hot sauce from purse,

throws it at her head.



Colin Kaepernick

still doesn’t have a day job.

Anyone surprised?



Happy Friday the

Thirteenth! To the untruthful

slime ball on book tour


Have a truthful and well-seasoned weekend!

On Point

Saying goodbye to ScandalPop some corn, pour a glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and dig into this juicy conversation with Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes, along with stars Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, and Bellamy Young. The show has enjoyed an extraordinary run, managing to be both wickedly entertaining while offering groundbreaking social commentary on race, female power, even reproductive rights. But thanks to Washington’s early embrace of social media - which she learned in part from her work with the Obama campaign - the cast has created a legion of #gladiator fans on Twitter. “Shonda got us all together and said Kerry had this idea,” says Goldwyn. “Are you guys all up to do this? I’m like, teach me which button to push.”New York Times

How to diversify public relations agencies
Angela Chitkara, the director of the  Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC) program at The City College of New York (CCNY), begins this important piece with a trip down memory lane. Remember the coolest monkey of H&M, Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad and the black woman who turned white selling Dove products? PR agencies need to become more diverse to be able to better assess how the ad campaigns of the brands they serve will be received in the marketplace, she says. For this piece, she interviewed 18 CEOs who lead top firms - thirteen were men, seventeen were white, and one Latino - to learn their D&I challenges. Her five-point plan is a blueprint for any enterprise, frankly, but number three got my attention: “Enlist the support of middle management to communicate how team diversity boosts organizational performance,” she says.

A map of evictions across the U.S.
You don’t have to be a data or infographics nerd to appreciate the importance of this extraordinary interactive map, the first nationwide database of evictions. (Just plug in your zip code and see what’s going on near you.) It was created by The Eviction Lab, a team of researchers, students, and web developers at Princeton University, who are studying the lives of poor, renting families, trying to understand how the growing number of evictions are destroying lives and communities. The work is an extension of the research done by Matthew Desmond, who has been studying housing, poverty, and eviction since 2008. “Eviction functions as a cause, not just a condition of poverty," he says. Learn more in his 2016 book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.
The Eviction Lab

Homeless girl scouts launch their first cookie drive
Troop 6000 is the first homeless shelter-based troop in history, and all the scouts live in different shelters around the NYC area. Their goal is to sell 6,000 boxes of cookies, and from this short video, it looks like they’ve got what it takes to succeed. “When you talk to the girls you’ll hear them say they belong to something,” says Meredith Maskara, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. “They don’t feel alone and feel like they have a stronger sense of community and belonging overall.” New Yorkers can find them selling cookies in Union Square today. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
ABC News

The Woke Leader

This 91-year-old lawyer is still a champion for desegregation
Alexander Polikoff was the lead attorney on Gautreaux v. Chicago Housing Authority, the first major desegregation case about public housing. The landmark case, named for famed black community organizer Dorothy Gautreaux, charged the Chicago and federal housing authorities with violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act by segregating black residents into public housing. The case, begun in the 1960s, made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976. The settlement, which Polikoff supervised for decades involved “mobility vouchers,” allowing low-income black families to move to the suburbs. Click through for a fascinating Q&A about his life, work, and the housing mobility movement he helped launch.

Historian Nell Irvin Painter’s great second act
The scholar and historian, best known for her books, including The History of White People (2010), made a remarkable decision at age 64 to reinvent herself as an artist. Now 75, Painter is a working painter who occasionally suffers for her art. “It’s just so uncool to be an old artist,” she says. “It feels wrong to be an old artist who doesn’t have the skills of say, 20 or 30 years of work.” She pulls no punches about the art world and her experience in grad school. “There’s something about art graduate school that can be pretty pernicious,” she says. “I didn’t feel that I knew the steps in the occupation of a visual artist. But mostly I felt I was just so bad at it.” She also wrote a book, Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over, which, among other things, critiques the teaching ethos of M.F.A. programs.(Paywall, sorry, but here’s her website and Instagram.)
Chronicle of Higher Education

Behold: An Afro Sheen commercial starring Frederick Douglass
Since we’re rebooting absolutely everything these days, why not 1970s Soul Train? I’d love to revive any show that would bring this gem of a commercial to the airwaves. I don’t want to give too much away, but Douglass’s tribute to the dignity of natural black hair may not rank among his among his most powerful speeches, but he stayed firmly on message. Even then, he was doing an amazing job. The commercial is also a poignant look back at a time of tremendous cultural transformation. It’s a hair product! It’s a revolution! It’s a hair product and a revolution!


No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.
Frederick Douglass