The fight to cancel student debt is coming to the president’s doorstep.

By Jacqui Germain, Teen Vogue

This story is published as part of Teen Vogue’s 2022 Economic Security Project fellowship.

The Debt Collective is upping the ante in their fight for full federal student debt cancellation with their Pick Up the Pen, Joe! rally and day of action today in front of the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. The event comes roughly a month before the pause on loan repayments is set to expire on May 1. Some White House sources have indicated the Biden administration may move that deadline again or forgive some amount of debt, but regardless, the Debt Collective’s focus remains squarely on eliminating federal student debt in full.

banner that says Cancel student debt

A broad coalition of more than 50 community organizations and labor unions from across the country are joining the Debt Collective in the nation’s capital to call on Biden to cancel all federal student debt through executive order.

“Student debtors are as diverse as the working class itself,” Debt Collective organizer and press secretary Braxton Brewington tells Teen Vogue. Though the movement’s detractors tend to paint the more than 43 million borrowers carrying $1.6 trillion in debt with a single brush, Brewington says Monday’s day of action is important because it shows people that student loan borrowers span every adult generation and occupy a wide range of industries. They are people who have multiple degrees as well as those who never completed college. Co-sponsoring organizations include the Working Families Party, Sunrise Movement, Democratic Socialists of America, American Federation of Teachers Local 2334, MORE (Movement of Rank-and-File Educators) United Federation of Teachers, and others.

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