Friends Evenings 2020-21

This series of small events features award-winning authors, musicians, and other leaders in their fields. Events will take place via Zoom and are limited to 50 guests to allow for more interaction between guests and speakers.

Digital tickets are $65 for each event.

Buy tickets here

October 28, 2020, 7pm via Zoom


Our Courts! Racial Disparities in Criminal Sentencing in NJ

Featuring Debbie Poritz- Former Chief Justice of the N.J. Supreme Court in conversation with Joseph Krakora, Public Defender N.J. and Alex Shalom, Senior Supervising Attorney and Director of Supreme Court Advocacy, ACLU of NJ
Sponsored by Audrey and David Egger

Headlines and news reports cover the inequities of arrests, but what happens when the cameras are no longer there? What happens in the courtroom that only the jurors are witness to and what contributes to such disproportion in sentencing?

Join Debbie Poritz, Former Chief Justice of the N.J. Supreme who will be in conversation with Joseph Krakora, Public Defender of New Jersey and Alex Shalom, Senior Supervising Attorney and Director of Supreme Court Advocacy, ACLU of N.J. for an insightful discussion among those most familiar with one of the most important topics of our times.

Buy your digital ticket here

November 3, 2020, 5pm, 8pm and 10pm via Zoom

Election Night in America

Featuring Sam Wang, Professor of Neuroscience at Princeton University and Director of Princeton Election Consortium and Princeton Gerrymandering Project
Sponsored by Melissa and Tom Grzymala

Trump. Biden. Pence. Harris. 

Hanging chad replaced by vote-by-mail and limited in-person polling places.

November 3, 2020 will be an Election Day like none other. We have become accustomed to having a definitive result by the next morning. With the pandemic that may well not be the case. Focus is of course on the Presidential race, but that is just one component. Will there be a sweep of the Senate and the House or will there be a swap or stay as is? What are the key local and state races? What does it all mean? Join Sam Wang, Princeton University Professor of Neuroscience, Founder of the Princeton Election Consortium and the Princeton Gerrymandering Project for three 30-minute check-ins at 5pm, 8pm and 10pm EST for updates and to help make sense of it all.

Buy your digital ticket here

January 25, 2021, 7pm via Zoom

Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Message For Our Own

Featuring Eddie Glaude Jr., James S. McDonnell Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. Dr. Glaude is a frequent commentator on MSNBC.

In Begin Again, Professor Glaude examines James Baldwin’s world and how it is reflected in the present. Like Baldwin, Glaude argues, we live in the “after times”-in Baldwin’s case of the Civil Rights Movement, and in our times by the Black Lives Matter Movement. Just as Baldwin watched America respond to the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., it is repeated by the murder of George Floyd and the massive protests that have followed.

Begin Again is a fierce work that combines biography and history to make an argument that we stand on the precipice of a decision about who we are as a country that will reverberate for decades.
All participants will get a copy of Begin Again.
Buy your digital ticket here

February 28, 2021, 11am via Zoom or in the Community Room at PPL

The Toni Morrison Book Club

Featuring Winnie Brown-Glaude, Cassandra Jackson, Juda Bennett and Piper Kendrix Williams in conversation

In this startling group memoir, four friends–black and white, gay and straight, immigrant and American-born, and all professors at the College of New Jersey–use Toni Morrison’s novels as a springboard for intimate and revealing conversations about the problems of everyday racism and living whole in times of uncertainty. Tackling everything from first love and Soul Train to police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, the authors take up what it means to read challenging literature collaboratively and to learn in public as an act of individual reckoning and social resistance.

All participants will get a copy of The Toni Morrison Book Club.

Buy your digital ticket here

March 21, 2021, 11am via Zoom or in the Community Room at PPL

The Next 100 Years of the Universe

Featuring James Peebles, Albert Einstein Professor of Science at Princeton University and 2019 Nobel Prize recipient for Physics, in conversation with Suzanne Staggs, Henry DeWolf Smyth Professsor of Physics at Princeton University
Sponsored by McCaffreys 




Be witness to a conversation between two leading scientists and colleagues discussing their revolutionary and evolutionary work of trying to understand ‘what is out there?’ With relativity passing the century mark, are the basic beliefs about the universe still valid and what is the focus for the next 100 years to further both understanding and scholarship.

Buy your digital ticket here


Dina Shaw
Melissa Grzymala
Benefit Co-Chairs

Andrea Bradley

Michelle Baxter
Julia Benedict
Allison Bloch
Sally Branon
Anne Brener
Julie Cho
Jane Fransson
Dawn Frost
Melissa Grzymala
Veronika Häusle-Kalabacos
Helen Heintz
Janie Hermann
Rupert Hinton
Seva Kramer
Beth Leman
Ruth Miller
Dana Molina
Rosalind Muir
Jane Nieman
Stephanie Oster
Jennifer Podolsky
Yamile Slebi
Christa Smith
Melanie Stein
Pam Wakefield
Wendy Wilton
Mary Wisnovsky