Director’s welcome

Sept. 7, 2022
Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús

Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús. Photo by Sameer A. Khan/Fotobuddy

The importance of interdisciplinarity — a bridge between the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences — has never been so clear as it is this fall 2022. We are in a time when truth and fiction are blurred, and the need for cultural understandings that foster healing and unity is crucial for any democratic future. We begin this new academic year with a renewed sense of connection and an urgency to repair. It is both exciting and daunting to be in person, seeing and meeting friends, students, and colleagues, and embracing the energy of each other’s ideas and presence after so long being sustained by virtual connections.

Finishing our first year as the newly inaugurated Effron Center for the Study of America, we will aim to emerge as a hub for Princeton students, faculty, and community members to explore the complex issues confronting us as part of living in the United States. And we are committed to keeping a keen eye on our shared role in the global community. The Effron Center is appreciative to be able to do this work from our beautiful campus, especially our newly renovated home on the second floor of the aptly named Morrison Hall. Inspired by the late Toni Morrison, we hope to be a place of critical reflection that allows difficult conversations to happen in productive ways.

The global health crisis and extremist violence continue to claim lives. We believe that as a society and institution, we can learn from history and aim towards a path guided by principles of civil rights, equality, reparations, social justice, anti-racism, and activism. The Effron Center is committed to a spirit of open inquiry, allowing the possibilities of joy and care to flourish in our collective and individual work. Guided by research-backed social science and humanities-oriented explorations, we are excited about imagining new equitable futures together.

We welcome you to the new academic year with an aim toward inspiration, transformation, and recognition. Join us in manifesting a community of hope and justice at Princeton.