This Week in Social Justice - Ep3: Canceling Student Debt & COVID-19's Effect on Child Morbidity

Posted by News Beat on November 23, 2020  •  4 min read
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The crushing personal and professional toll of college debt on American students—especially those of color—is impossible to deny.

Not only do Black borrowers assume more and face greater challenges repaying it, a 2018 analysis into racial disparities in student loan debt by The Center for Demography and Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison concluded "that student debt may be a new mechanism of inequality that creates fragility in the next generation of the black middle class."

The issue has also evolved into a perennial stumping subject among U.S. presidential hopefuls, with both former Democratic primary candidates Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren promising various levels of forgiveness during their campaigns.

The jury's still out on whether Democratic President-Elect Joe Biden will implement any meaningful reform, such as an executive order, for example, to dent the record-breaking $1.6 trillion in student loan debt of more than 45 million borrowers, yet civil rights advocates are hopeful.

Fenaba Addo, associate professor of consumer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and co-author of the aforementioned report, joins us on this third installment of 'This Week in Social Justice,' to discuss.

Here's the interview:

This episode also falls on 'World Children's Day,' and we dedicate a segment to highlight several of the critical yet lesser-known ramifications of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the health, safety and socioeconomic stability of children across the globe—sharing initiatives by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and nonprofit Save The Children to combat its brutal, deadly, often hidden devastation.

Of course, no show would be complete without the incisive, politically relevant humor and showmanship of News Beat podcast producer Manny Faces, or bizarrely, Abraham Lincoln references (Wait, what?!), and neither disappoint.

As always, you can tune into 'This Week in Social Justice' livestream every Friday at 1 p.m. ET via Facebook, YouTube and now, Twitch, and listen to the weekly show and all our previous podcast episodes wherever you score your favorites.

We hope you enjoy, and perhaps even get inspired.

Other issues discussed include:

  • The rising incarceration rate of women, with data from the nonprofit Prison Policy Initiative
  • Disturbing reporting by the Tampa Bay Times exposing how Pasco's sheriff uses grades and abuse histories of schoolchildren to label them as potential criminals (Yup)
  • Latest FBI hate crime report's findings, which document that 2019 had the most hate-motivated violence in a decade, and the highest number of hate-fueled murders ever, with a record-breaking 51 fatal attacks

Listen to the podcast by subscribing to News Beat on your favorite pod app, and sign up for our newsletter. 

Please be sure to subscribe, rate and review us wherever you listen to podcasts—Apple, Spotify, Stitcher—and visit for all our previous episodes and unique blend of social justice journalism and independent hip hop.

For more, watch 'This Week In Social Justice,' featuring Fenaba Addo.

Topics: civil liberties

News Beat is an award-winning social justice podcast melding independent, hard-hitting journalism with original music from independent artists.

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