Past Trips

If you have any questions about past trips, contact Geralyn Williams. Each Breakout Princeton also trip details their journeys on the Breakout Princeton Blog. Check it out to learn more about the trips below. 

Spring 2018


Fall 2017

Decision-Making and Discrimination: Environmental Justice in Urban Settings 

Location: New York City, NY

Environment justice is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the “fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.” However, some communities have become dumping grounds for the benefit of others -- receptacles for the toxic byproducts that make our consumerism and industrial advancement possible. Through this Breakout trip, we hope to engage such communities in NYC and partner with local organizations to understand the causes and lasting effects of environmental discrimination, policy and advocacy options, and this topic’s intersection with other activism efforts. How are environmental activism efforts complicated by competing developmental activities? How is environmental injustice addressed (or not addressed) at local versus national levels? We hope to find avenues forward for productive environmental decision-making and reflect upon how we are all implicated in this challenge.


The Drop-in Model: Exploring Temporary Solutions to Youth Homelessness 

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Each year, more than 2 million kids in the U.S. will experience homelessness, and the problem is exacerbated in major urban centers like Philadelphia. Drop-in centers provide a variety of day-to-day services to many of these homeless youth, including meals, a place to shower, access to health clinics, social services, etc. What they do not provide, however, is a place to sleep at night. The key idea behind drop-in centers is they equip the clients they serve with the tools necessary to build self-sufficient lives and improve their current living situations. Increasingly, drop-in centers have become a popular way to cater to the needs of homeless youth across the country, and this trip will seek to examine the efficacy of that model to solving the problem of youth homelessness both temporarily and as a long-term goal.


Breaking Down Barriers: An Intersectional Approach to Mental Health Care Access

Location: Boston, MA

What happens when a patient needs mental health care but can’t afford it? What if they must overcome stigmas in their spiritual or cultural communities? How should we approach addressing these issues? This breakout trip will embark on an in-depth exploration of barriers to mental health care access in the city of Boston. Our goal will be to explore barriers to access from a socioeconomic, racial, and cultural lens. We plan on working with medical professionals, faith groups, and policymakers to learn about where gaps exist in access and what solutions are being sought out.


Charm City: Maintaining Community in the Midst of Gentrification

Location: Baltimore, MA

Recent news reports describe gentrification as a dirty word in many urban neighborhoods across the country, especially in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore is commonly known as "the city of neighborhoods," making for a unique situation as gentrification causes these neighborhoods to shift in appearance, demographically and socioeconomically. This Breakout Trip is focused on learning what gentrification looks like and how it is positively and negatively affecting the Baltimore community. Specifically, we aim to garner an understanding on how a sense of community can be maintained as the neighborhoods undergo this change and how Baltimore's racial history plays a role in this phenomenon. We look forward to engaging in discussions with government officials, community organizers,  and city activists as we learn more about this increasingly prevalent issue.


Dance Education Access: Arts, Race, and the Body

Location: New York City, NY

Our breakout trip will investigate arts education access, specifically dance, for underserved communities in New York City. We intend to investigate how issues and implications of race and culture are manifested in the body and seen through dance and performing arts. As dancers of color, we are constantly faced with situations that shed light on the complex relationship that race has with different forms of dance (for example ballet, hip-hop, traditional dance forms). During this trip, we will explore how non-profits that focus on dance education for underserved communities navigate the multi-faceted racial landscape of the communities that they serve.


Spring 2017

Becoming American: Navigating Culture and Identity in Immigrant Enclaves

Location: New York City, NY

See the trip blog here

The United States prides itself on being a nation of immigrants, but what exactly is the immigrant narrative? How are identities created and expressed in immigrant enclaves? Recognizing that there is diversity in the narratives of immigrants in this country, we hope to begin answering these questions by exploring the culturally diverse neighborhood of Jackson Heights in Queens, New York. In approaching this topic we will analyze how immigrant identities are both formed within communities as well as simultaneously imposed upon them from the outside. We will be focusing on listening to stories and hearing the perspectives of immigrants themselves. Through listening to personal stories, we will expand our focus to examining how these individuals organize support structures within their communities. By attending cultural events, visiting museums, and working with grassroots organizations, we hope to interact with a number of different cultural groups and collaborate with community partners to incorporate learning service into our trip. All the while, participants will be encouraged to reflect upon their own identities and cultural narratives as well as the presence of diversity within the Princeton community. As a whole we would like to trace the narrative journey of immigrants and the complexities of having roots in one place while living in another.
Leaders: Stephen Chao ’19 and Andie Ayala ‘19


Transforming Tulsa: Philanthropy as a Vehicle for Social Change

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

See the trip blog here

This Spring Break (March 18th-26th0 we are leading a Breakout Trip entitled “Transforming Tulsa: Philanthropy as a Vehicle for Social Change.” The aim of the program is for students to think critically about the role of private money in community development and the provision of social services by meeting with a diverse array of Tulsa community members. Students will be challenged to step out of their comfort zones, connect with people with whom they don’t usually interact, and reflect on what philanthropy means. It should be an exciting, interesting week in which both students, community partners, and ourselves learn a great deal.

Leaders: Sophia Alvarez ’17 and Erin Lynch ’17


Institutional Approaches to Urban Drug Policy 

Location: Washington, DC

See the trip blog here

On this Breakout Trip, we will explore the issues surrounding addiction in Washington, D.C., a city with one of the highest drug abuse rates in the nation, and which is still recovering from the crack epidemic of the 80s and 90s. Yet simultaneously, as the nation’s capital, the city also serves as a hotspot for drug-related policy and political activism at the highest levels. We will attempt to understand the issue from both perspectives, discovering the factors working for and against drug addicts in their own community, and learning about the institutional problems that policymakers are constantly working on fixing. We will also shine a light onto the mechanics of addiction, looking at the interplay between biological and sociological factors, in the hope of gaining a more nuanced understanding of it as a medical problem.

Leaders: Noah Beattie-Moss '19 and Devina Singh '19  


Opportunity Gap: Pipelines of Education for Students of Color

Location: Washington D.C.

See the trip blog here

The Pace Center for Civic Engagement has teamed up with The Carl. A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding for its Breakout Princeton Campus Collaboration Trip slated for Spring 2017! This trip will focus on educational pipelines for students of color. Currently low-income, minority students in K-12 are disproportionately limited in receiving the same level of quality educational opportunities and resources than their middle to wealthy class white peers. These stark disparities critically cripples and disadvantages communities of color, hinders students’ access to support services and further makes the dream of higher education more and more elusive. We invite you to examine firsthand what educational disparities look like in our surrounding communities and gain a better understanding that access to quality education is undoubtedly a privilege.

Leaders: Sylvie Thode  and Rohit Dilip 


Community Development: Urban Art (First-Year Focus)

Location: Philadelphia, PA

See the trip blog here

This trip centers on understanding the power of art to build community, unite individuals, and offer transformative justice. Through dance, visual art, music, and theater this trip intends to explore the past and current impact of art on social issues facing today’s American society. We are excited to witness art being made, talk with activists that are using art as a tool for social justice, and serve with organizations that are teaching today’s youth the power and refuge of art. 

Leaders: Jackson Artis ’20 and Yunzi Shi ’20


Criminal Justice: Incarceration and Reform (First-Year Focus)

Location: Trenton, NJ

See the trip blog here

This trip will focus on understanding the assumptions of made of incarcerated individuals and what reform efforts are happening at a local and national level. This trip will look at criminal justice through the lenses of policy, activism, and direct service. We will meet with local government officials to learn about current policy as well as reform efforts. We will serve with local non-profits to learn about their work in meeting immediate and long term needs of incarcerated individuals. To learn more about the specific issues raised by local activists, we plan to engage in dialogue and deep discussion. This trip will consist of only first-year leaders and participants.

Leaders: Kadence Mitchell ‘20 and Jianing Zhao ‘20


Fall 2015

Socioeconomic Barriers in Cancer Treatment and Care

Contested Resources: Nonferrous Mining in Minnesota's Iron Range

Sex, Sexism and Sexuality: Exploring Feminism in the 21st Century

Where do we go from here?: Community Organizing in the Wake of Crisis

Breaking News: Journalism as Tool for Social Justice

School Choice: The Pursuit of Equal Opportunity