University Convocation Program

Dr. Ruha Benjamin

Friday, February 2, 2024, 12:30 p.m.

Lawrence Memorial Chapel



Impromptu for Organ, Op. 78, No. 3Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
Dr. Daniel Schwandt, university organist

Musical Selection

Litany | John Musto (b. 1954); Prayer | Langston Hughes (1901 – 1967)
Preston Parker ’23, tenor
Nathaniel Tang ’24, pianist
Gather up
In the arms of your pity
The sick, the depraved,
The desperate, the tired,
All the scum
Of our weary city.
Gather up
In the arms of your pity.
Gather up
In the arms of your love–
Those who expect
No love from above.

Land Acknowledgement

Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Antiracism and Support Services

Introduction of Dr. Ruha Benjamin

Madera Allan, associate professor of Spanish and chair of the Committee on Public Affairs


Dr. Ruha Benjamin


Toccatina, Op. 43, No. 2 | Rachel Laurin (1961-2023)
Dr. Daniel Schwandt, university organist

Speaker Bio: Dr. Ruha Benjamin 

Dr. Ruha Benjamin is the Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, founding director of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab, and author of the award-winning book Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, among many other publications. Her work investigates the social dimensions of science, medicine, and technology with a focus on the relationship between innovation and inequity, health and justice, knowledge and power. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Marguerite Casey Foundation Freedom Scholar Award and the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton. Her most recent book, Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want, winner of the 2023 Stowe Prize, was born out of the twin plagues of COVID-19 and police violence and offers a practical and principled approach to transforming our communities and helping us build a more just and joyful world. Ruha’s forthcoming book Imagination: A Manifesto will be released in February 2024.

View Dr. Ruha's expanded bio

  • Bag lunches for students, faculty & staff will be available to go in the Music-Drama Center lobby following the Convocation.
  • Please refrain from talking during all musical selections.
  • As a courtesy to the artists and to those in attendance, please be aware that sounds such as whispering and the rustling of programs and cellophane wrappers are magnified in the hall.
  • Please silence all cell phones and electronic devices. No recording or photography allowed.
  • An American Sign Language interpreter will be available and located on the stage.
    ASL Interpretation Services offered

Next Convocation 

Honors Convocation: Mark Phelan
Knowing Others and Ourselves
Friday, May 24, 2024, 12:30 p.m