We have goals and dreams. But while we’re drowning under mountains of student loan debt, our pursuits seem impossible.

By  and  | Rise Organizers |

Image Below: The NAACP leads student debt relief activists in a chant in front of the White House after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s student debt relief program on June 30, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images)

student-loan-debt-black-women-collegeOn a brisk night, we decided to sleep outside the Supreme Court to demand they protect our rights while pursuing a higher education. We believe that protest is power—and this summer, students like us were holding our breath that they’d do the right thing and uphold the Biden administration’s actions to cancel our debt.
In the end, the Supreme Court ruled against the Biden administration’s actions on student debt and effectively ended affirmative action for people of color in higher education—all in the same month the nation honored Juneteenth.
For young people, especially Black women and students of color, our livelihood and our futures are quite literally in jeopardy. We have goals and dreams, and want to be able to thrive and contribute to our communities. But while we’re drowning under mountains of debt, those pursuits seem almost impossible.
Supreme Court rulings are not just “politics” or something to be dismissed—this is about people, many of whom are Black and brown and helped to build this nation. Even though Black women are among the most highly-educated demographics in the nation, we carry an average of over $37,000 in debt, compared to almost $22,000 for women overall and $18,000 for men.
In his book The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America, author Shawn Rochester shows the cost of racism: over $70 trillion for Black Americans, since our ancestors were forced into slave labor. Because of the racial wealth gap, we are behind before we can even fully get started.
If we want real change, we need consistent, steady and systemic justice. That means every ruling, every action by the current administration, every vote in Congress, every person we elect, and every protest in the streets, all count.
The full article can be found at Ms. Magazine. Please click here to read.