Webinar Explores the Impact of Debt on Communities of Color

Posted February 18, 2020, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

A couple reviews their household budget

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.

Speak­ers include:

  • 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.

Reg­is­ter for the webinar

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.”

Learn more about SPRD

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