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Wisdom Cole - Holding Cancel Student Debt Sign
Press Statement June 14, 2023

NAACP Urges Biden Administration to Address Student Debt Crisis and Fulfill Promises to Black America

Wisdom Cole - Holding Cancel Student Debt Sign


June 14, 2023 

Contact: Alicia Mercedes,

WASHINGTON – Last night, the NAACP sent an open letter to President Joe Biden emphasizing the urgent need for comprehensive student debt relief and calling for him to fulfill his promises to the Black community.

NAACP President & CEO, Derrick Johnson, released the following statement: 

"Once again, Black America's needs have been deprioritized by the leaders we depend on. We will not silently stand by as Black folks and our most pressing needs are used as bargaining chips in political negotiations. It is imperative that the Black community receives the student debt relief we were promised. Collectively attaining the generational wealth that we have long been denied depends on it. Let me be very clear - even if the Supreme Court issues an unfavorable ruling, the Biden Administration is still on the hook to deliver. The NAACP remains steadfast in demanding meaningful progress in this vital area on behalf of Black America. We'll stop at nothing to ensure that we can all thrive." 

NAACP National Director of Youth and College, Wisdom Cole, said of the letter:

"I've traveled across the country, engaging with young, Black voters who are mobilized and determined. Through my conversations, I've heard one resounding demand from them: 'We want to be debt free in 2023!' It's time for the President and his leaders to recognize the urgency of this matter and take decisive action to ensure that the burden of student loan debt is alleviated for the Black community. Young voters have repeatedly shown up and delivered for this Administration — they expect a return on their investment of time and passion. One thing is clear - failure is not an option."

Excerpts from the letter include

"Given the Administration's stated focus on equity, it is disappointing that narrowing the racial wealth gap was not given a higher priority.

Education debt results from the high cost of aspiration, and Black Americans' core belief in attaining the American Dream. Yet, the lack of generational wealth, predatory lending practices that increase the high cost of financing education, and other factors create barriers to economic success." 

Click here to read the letter and here to access the NAACP's Student Loan Default fact sheet.

On Tuesday, June 20th, NAACP National Director of Youth & College Wisdom Cole and Center for Responsible Lending Director of Federal Campaigns Jaylon Herbin, along with other student debt advocacy leaders will host a press conference calling on the Biden Administration and other elected leaders to follow through on their promise to deliver student debt relief. The press conference comes on the heels of the Association sending a letter to the Administration outlining their frustration with the outcome of the recent debt ceiling negotiations. 

To attend the press conference, please RSVP by completing the form here. Location details will be provided upon RSVP. 



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.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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