Webinar Explores the Impact of Debt on Communities of Color
On Wednesday, Feb. 26, the nonprofit, Prosperity Now, will launch a series of webinars spotlighting the burdens that debt places on families and communities in the South. The free, four-part webinar series is part of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Southern Partnership to Reduce Debt (SPRD), a multiyear, multistate effort focused on relieving debt burdens for Southern families — especially those of color — and enabling them to begin building and maintaining wealth.
The first installment, Understanding the Impact of Debt on Communities of Color, will feature several experts who will explore data and research on how various kinds of debt — including medical and student debt and public fines and fees — affect people in the South. Speakers will also discuss potential policy solutions.
- Amber Stewart, program associate, South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development;
- Anju Chopra, senior policy manager, Prosperity Now;
- Devin Fergus, the Arvarh E. Strickland Distinguished Professor of History and Black Studies, University of Missouri;
- Emanuel Nieves, associate director of policy, Prosperity Now; and
- Jennifer Lee, senior policy analyst, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.
Other installments in the series — to be scheduled later in 2020 — will focus more deeply on the impact of student-loan debt and fines and fees charged by the criminal justice system.
In the South, households are more likely to have medical debt, struggle to pay student loans and face public fees and fines compared to those in other regions. So far, SPRD partners in several states — including North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas — have made strides in helping eliminate debt and the barriers it presents.
“We’re pleased this webinar series on debt will provide policy and program solutions for those families and communities facing structural barriers to financial stability and asset building,” says Don Baylor, Jr., who oversees many of the Foundation’s wealth and asset-building strategies. “We hope stakeholders, including advocates in the public and private sector, tune in and identify actionable steps at the city, county or state levels.”