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Wisdom Cole - Student Debt Rally
Press Statement June 30, 2023

NAACP Condemns SCOTUS Ruling Rejecting Student Debt Cancellation

Wisdom Cole - Student Debt Rally

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

June 30, 2023

Contact: Alicia Mercedes, amercedes@naacpnet.org

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court of the United States struck down President Biden's plan to provide millions of Americans with much-needed student loan debt relief. On the one-year anniversary of Kentanji Brown Jackson being sworn in as the first Black woman Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, the ruling today serves as a reminder of the importance of diversity in our highest courts. NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnsonreleased the following statement expressing frustration and disappointment that the Supreme Court abandoned Black borrowers and a clear opportunity to narrow the racial wealth gap in America: 

"The Supreme Court's decision to strike down the President's student debt program is a clear disregard for what millions of Americans need - especially Black Americans. Despite today's upsetting ruling, we demand that the Biden Administration delivers on the promise of student loan debt relief. Education has long been regarded as a path toward generational wealth, economic liberation, and securing the American dream. Let's be clear - student debt is killing that dream. The NAACP will not stop until student debt relief becomes a reality. America has so easily forgiven greedy corporations for their debts - why would they refuse to provide the same grace and investment in our own students? The NAACP demands that this administration fulfills its promises, and that this country makes this necessary and worthy investment in the future of our union." 

Later today at noon, NAACP National Director of Youth & College Wisdom Cole, will lead a group of students and activists in a mobilization starting at the Supreme Court steps and marching to the White House. Cole said of today's decision: 

"It is devastating that the cries of Black Americans continue to fall on deaf ears. Students, teachers, parents and politicians have repeatedly demanded relief from the crushing weight of student debt - and this government refuses to listen. We cannot thrive as a nation if we do not close the racial wealth gap. Taking the first step to relieve us from student debt is taking a first step towards true equity in a system that was built against us. We refuse to accept defeat. We refuse to live through a reality where our potential for growth and prosperity is hindered by predatory lenders and passive politicians. No matter what was allegedly decided today — failure is not an option. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to hold the Biden Administration accountable on their promise to make us student debt free in 2023." 

Click here to RSVP, if you plan to cover today's mobilization and would like to interview Wisdom and the student activists. 

Earlier this year, the NAACP led a historic coalition of cities, states, experts, and advocates in filing more than a dozen amicus curiae briefs with the Supreme Court in support of the Biden Administration's student debt relief program. 

Over the past three years, the NAACP has fiercely advocated for student debt cancellation as an integral step in closing the racial wealth gap, making it clear that failure on this issue is not an option for the nearly 40 million borrowers in need of relief. NAACP leaders have met with Vice President Kamala Harris, hosted events with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, and mobilized youth across the country to discuss the importance of student debt cancellation, centering the lived experiences of Black borrowers every step of the way. 

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About NAACP

The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.

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