WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to deepen the student debt crisis, which presently overwhelms 47.9 million borrowers with over $1.7 trillion in student loan debt; and
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the racial and economic inequities that have historically disproportionately impacted Black borrowers; and
WHEREAS, many public service and frontline/essential jobs have been lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic leaving millions of student loan borrowers of color still finding themselves out of work as the economy recovers; and
WHEREAS, under the current Plus Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, frontline/essential jobs are not specifically classified as public-service jobs, deeming them ineligible for loan forgiveness; and
WHEREAS, 13% of Black borrowers are projected to never pay off their loans because the compounding interest outpaces their ability to pay down the principal; and
WHEREAS, Black people had to borrow student loans with a weaker economic base, use them to attend underfunded colleges and universities, and struggle to repay them in an underpaying and under-employing labor market; and
WHEREAS, Black borrowers both acquire more debt and, due to wage and employment inequities in the labor market, are in more precarious positions when it comes to their ability to repay; and
WHEREAS, Black borrowers face higher default rates due to discrimination in the workplace and persistent race and gender wage gaps.
WHEREAS, graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) take on 32% more debt than their peers at other colleges; and
WHEREAS, cancelling $10,000 would not have the ameliorative racial wealth effects that larger cancellation policies would have; and
WHEREAS, cancelling no less than $50,000 in federal student-loan debt would reduce the racial-wealth gap for families and;
WHEREAS, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 2020 confirmed their support of legislative initiatives for free higher education for all and the cancellation of all student loan debt through the "Ditch the College Debt: Post-Secondary Education and Financial Stability" resolution; and
WHEREAS, the reaffirmation of this policy is necessary to address the new challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has created within the student loan debt crisis.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP stands with Black borrowers across the country in support of a baseline cancellation of no less than $50,000 in federal student loan debt; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports the complete forgiveness of all federal student loans for public service and frontline/essential workers; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports the end to all interest on student loan repayments; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the members of the NAACP specifically call on the Biden Administration and Congress to immediately take action to ensure that borrowers are provided with student debt relief giving Black borrowers the opportunities to pursue homeownership, develop economy-boosting discretionary income, and equal opportunity towards upward mobility.