In the News

SoFi, known for its student loan refinancing products, treated its newly debt-free customers to cocktails on a rooftop bar and restaurant. [...] 

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Six years ago today, on April 25, 2012, activists took to the streets to mark the country’s outstanding student-loan debt surpassing $1 trillion. And in the years since, many of the trends that pushed student debt levels to climb have persisted and in some cases gotten worse.

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Heather McGhee, president of Demos, an equal rights thinktank, will develop the Starbucks training plan with the former US attorney general Eric Holder and representatives of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education fund, the Equal Justice Initiative and the Anti-Defamation League.

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While no law prevents outside donors, for example, from investing in the campaign of a low-income person, the likelihood that they’ll do so is low. The problem is social capital: Low-income people lack it, and so their personal networks do not often contain millionaires with open pocketbooks.

Activists and researchers have pointed out that the Detroit Water and Sewage Department’s financial woes can’t be blamed entirely on the city, since it stretches far beyond the city itself, serving 40 percent of Michigan’s population.

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On Monday, reeling from an incident at a Starbucks in Philadelphia that prompted accusations of racial bias, Howard Schultz, the company’s executive chairman, called the head of a nonprofit public-policy organization to discuss ways to prevent similar episodes in the future.

His idea: provide anti-bias training for his work force.

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“[We] are working closely with the team to learn from our mistakes,” she said. “We are fully investigating our store practices and guidelines across the company. In addition to our own review we will work with outside experts and community leaders to understand and adopt best practices, including unconscious bias training.”

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The 1993 law requires states to offer people the opportunity to register to vote when they interact with the motor vehicle agency and other state agencies. If someone wants to register to vote at the motor vehicle agency, the information provided on a driver’s license can also be used as a voter registration application for federal elections.

Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos, the left-leaning public policy organization, said he understands why debt-burdened students might take the risk of losing money in cryptocurrency markets. “The risk inherent in higher education now is higher than it ever has been," he said.

While the payoff for a good education remains, the costs are increasingly being borne by families. Debt, he said, is now basically required in order to earn a college degree.

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Against this backdrop comes the Black Census Project—a new initiative of the the Black Futures Lab, an organization founded by Alicia Garza of Black Lives Matter to harness the political power of black communities in America.
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