Call to Action at CBCF Conference Featured Civil Rights, Education, & Economic Justice Advocates, and Resources for Borrowers
Washington, DC — Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), borrowers, and advocates renewed their urgent call for student debt cancellation with loan payments set to resume on October 1, 2023.
Their calls came at a policy discussion titled Student Debt Cancellation is Essential hosted by Rep. Pressley as part of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference, and featured testimony from civil rights leaders, educators, borrowers and student debt advocates, including National Education Association President Becky Pringle, NAACP Director of Youth & College Division Wisdom Cole, and Center for Responsible Lending Director of Federal Campaigns Jaylon Herbin.
Also on site at the event were student debt cancellation advocates who were available to meet with borrowers and help navigate available student debt relief resources.
“Student debt cancellation is essential and it is a racial justice imperative,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “Black folks—especially Black women—are among the most impacted by the student debt crisis, so we must be intentional in centering their voices and experiences in our policy response. Student debt cancellation is essential. No corrupt court or extreme Republican should stand in the way of long overdue relief. I’m grateful for our advocates and partners in this work who joined us to speak to this crisis and offer real-time resources for borrowers. This conversation underscored why we must deliver student debt cancellation for Black America and borrowers everywhere.”
“Representative Pressley has long been a champion of the fight for student debt cancellation, and today’s convening speaks to her continued leadership on this crucial issue. One thing is clear – this fight is far from over,” said Wisdom Cole, National Director, NAACP Youth & College Division. “Education should be the key to liberation, but far too many borrowers, especially Black borrowers, are enslaved by a system of perpetual debt. As repayments loom over our community, the NAACP is committed to ensuring that every borrower has access to the resources they need and deserve. As we battle for freedom and financial security, we remain focused on holding our elected leaders accountable to the promises they’ve made to Black America. It’s not done until it’s done.”
“The most effective way to narrow the wealth gap for communities of color and working-class households is to provide significant student loan relief to borrowers and reform our educational system to ensure it is equitable for future students,” said Jaylon Herbin, director of federal campaigns at the Center for Responsible Lending. “We continue to support President Biden in his quest to make our educational system fairer and urge him to explore all his options to provide student debt relief to millions of Americans.”
Some of the topics covered in the discussion, which was titled Student Debt Cancellation Is Essential, include:
- How the student debt crisis is the result of anti-Black policy and systemic divestment in education in America;
- How student debt cancellation is an effective and high-impact way to address economic justice and teacher retention;
- Existing resources and tools currently available for student loan borrowers;
- Why the Administration must use every tool to deliver on the President’s promise of broad student debt cancellation without delay; and
Why student debt cancellation is a racial and economic justice issue.