Over spring break, more than 100 Princeton students explored critical social issues in communities across the U.S. and on campus through Breakout Princeton and Breakout Local with the Pace Center for Civic Engagement.
As part of Breakout Princeton’s student-led trips, students learned about immigration in Arizona, gentrification in Trenton, mental illness in Philadelphia, gun violence in Detroit, health care and immigration in Philadelphia, and land use in New Hampshire. On campus, students, staff and faculty teamed up to take part in Breakout Local through Butler College’s mural project with Trenton artist Will Kasso. The mural is part of the University’s Campus Iconography project.
Read more about what students experienced on the Breakout Princeton blog and learn about some of the highlights of the week below.
In the Shadows of the Border: The Politics (and Realities) of Immigration Enforcement in Southern Arizona
Conceived and planned with Ali Valenzuela, assistant professor of politics, and David Cortez, a postdoctoral research associate in the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, this trip set out to build greater understanding of the complex web of community and special interest groups, local and federal law enforcement agencies, and policymakers on the frontlines of immigration in southern Arizona.
A Public Health Approach to Violence: Investigating Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue in Detroit
This Breakout Princeton trip sought to gain a better understanding of the ways in which health services are provided to people of low socioeconomic status and how these services impact complex social issues, such as gun violence. Students explored the role poverty plays in urban violence with Magaly Sanchez-R, a researcher with the Office of Population Research at Princeton, prior to the trip, and connected with politicians, advocacy organizations, educators and more in Detroit.
Whose Backyard? Trajectories of Land Use and Their Impact on America’s National Forests in New Hampshire
How does land use impact local ecosystems, communities, and the individuals who draw inspiration from America’s wild places? This is the question explored by the Whose Backyard? trip team in and around White Mountain National Forest in eastern New Hampshire. Students met with David Wilcove, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and public affairs and the Princeton Environmental Institute, the U.S. Forest Service, local conservationists, loggers, communications professionals, and activists.
Community Building: Unpacking Gentrification in Trenton
On this Breakout Princeton trip, led by first-year students for first-year students, the group unpacked gentrification in Trenton, New Jersey. The trip team met with a variety of stakeholders — entrepreneurs, community organizations, nonprofits, historians and more — to gain a better understanding of what gentrification is and how it positively and negatively impacts the city. “[This trip] has only made me want to pursue sociology more, so that I may understand how things like gentrification occur,” said first-year student Brandon Dunlevy.
Think of the Mind: Understanding Mental Illness and Care Past Customs: Understanding the Intersection of Health Care and Immigration in Philadelphia
Two Breakout Princeton trips ventured to Philadelphia to explore topics related to health. The Think of the Mind trip team explored approaches to counter stigma around mental illness and sought to gain a better understanding of how to promote mental health. Care Past Customs focused on how immigrant communities in Philadelphia pursue health and wellness and examined the impact of policy on health care and the people it reaches.