This fall, a New York Times article covered the Surgeon General’s recent report on an epidemic facing Americans: pervasive loneliness. The impact of the article was so profound to Jessica Durrie, co-founder of Small World Coffee, as someone whose professional journey has been dedicated to fostering a sense of community and belonging, the fundamental feelings that allow each one of us to flourish and thrive.
Small World Coffee celebrates its 30th anniversary this December. Thirty years of serving coffee and creating community! When it came time to plan the milestone celebration, SWC’s Kitchen Manager, Kahlou Brown, suggested engaging the community through the well-loved Spring Street mural space. This idea resonated deeply—after all, the Arts Council of Princeton and its founder, Anne Reeves, had been among the first to welcome SWC to the Princeton community 30 years ago!
With a plan and a purpose in mind, Jessica reached out to local artist/former barista/current SWC social media manager, Jacqui Alexander, who picked up a pencil and started sketching ideas before the phone call was over.
This mural stands as a vibrant portrayal of the delightful experiences that await us in Princeton as we come together with our friends and family. It reminds us that our community is here, around us, ready to be embraced and built upon.
We know that as social beings, the sense of connection is indispensable for our mental and physical well-being. In an era overcast with loneliness, we hope this mural inspires you to dive in. Reach out, include others, make new friends, keep an open heart, and acknowledge the inherent human need for belonging. Your community is right here, lean into it and watch it grow.