Society & Culture

The Power of the Black Vote: Knocking Out Student Loan Debt

podcast September 22, 2022

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As the country gears up for the midterm elections, Into America is traveling to different HBCUs across the South for a special series called, “The Power of the Black Vote.” We’re talking to young Black voters about how they’re shaping America, and about the issues that matter to them the most. This week, we travel to Durham’s North Carolina Central University to discuss how the student debt crisis is affecting Black students’ lives and their plans for the future. 

As the cost of higher education continues to balloon, Black borrowers are taking on more student loan debt than their white peers. And this is impacting families too: Black parents are more likely to take out a Parent PLUS loan to finance their child’s education. Over the summer, President Biden announced his administration’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 for federal loan holders, but the move fell far short of what many activists and organizations, including the NAACP, had been pushing for.

On this episode, we visit Kamree Anderson and Dena Fischer, who share their experience with repaying Parent Plus Loans. Then, host Trymaine Lee speaks with Jonah Vincent, founder of the youth-led organization No Cap, and current NCCU students Heavyn Smith and MarQuay Spencer-Gibbs about how student debt shapes their lives and their perspective for the upcoming midterm elections.

This episode was produced with research support from the Durham-based Center for Responsible Lending.

For a transcript, please visit

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