A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷
🖋️Letter From the Editor🖋️
Today’s big announcement coming from the White House is that the Biden administration plans to cancel a significant amount of student debts nationally, as well as extend the current moratorium on payments for a final time.
Locally, a number of sites around South King County will be offering free dental care services for youth and adults, Bloodworks Northwest is in desperate need of blood donations, and an extensive list of excellent books can be found in the list of Washington State Book Award finalists! Full disclosure: One nomination includes Readying to Rise: Essays by South Seattle Emerald founder and publisher Marcus Harrison Green.
—Vee Hua 華婷婷, interim managing editor for the South Seattle Emerald
At President Biden’s recent town hall, he was asked a direct question by a voter, who is currently in federal student loan debt, about Biden’s plans regarding the forgiveness of at least $50,000 in student loan debt. Biden gave a straightforward “no” in answer in a response in which he suggested the funds should be used to support early education instead, and he went on to describe his reluctance to assist Americans who have degrees from elite institutions. Biden did reiterate his commitment to free community college.
The student asked the president: “The American dream is to succeed — but how can we fulfill that dream when debt is many people’s only option for a degree?” This statement stands out to me. As a Black American, I know many graduates, who like myself, were forced to take on student loans in pursuit of a degree that would hopefully set us on a path toward building generational wealth for our families. But how will we succeed if we are stuck with insurmountable debt as a reward for our pursuit of a professional career?
The brilliant council members of the Youth Activists for Systemic Change (YASC) organized a livestream event on Sat. January 23 in partnership with Town Hall Seattle to present a panel discussion on their thoughts and demands for creating a better future.
In June, these youth organized the Seattle Children’s March that was inspired by the Birmingham Children’s Crusade March of 1963. The members of YASC hosted a rally at Garfield Community Center, before leading a crowd of about 3,000 people on a march through the Central District. I, along with my daughter, attended that march and rally, and I remember being impressed by the passion and creativity of these youth who not only verbalized their demands, but performed music, dance, and poetry for the large crowd that included many youth like my daughter — who was inspired by these young activists.