by JESS KIRBY
Members of UMW’s NAACP traveled to Washington, D.C. for the Feb. 28 People’s Rally for Student Debt Cancellation. The rally, organized by the NAACP and other advocacy organizations, took place outside the Supreme Court as justices heard opening arguments for two cases challenging President Joe Biden’s student debt relief plan.
“Student debt is such an important issue to me because this is where the government can bridge the education and wealth amongst all demographics,” said UMW NAACP Civic Engagement Campus Leader Kaylah Christina Lightfoot, a sophomore political science major. “Everyone deserves higher education without financial burden regardless of your background.”
After the NAACP Youth and College Division announced the rally, “The UMW Chapter decided that it was a must,” said Lightfoot. “As a NAACP college chapter and our proximity to DC, we had to go.”
Despite the freezing weather, the rally lasted over four hours and, according to the Philadelphia Tribune, was the “largest-ever event supporting student loan cancellation.” The rally featured speakers including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).
“The Rally itself was a positive stimulating environment where social justice thrived,” Lightfoot said. “Being in a group with other advocates on the issue definitely felt refreshing and motivating. It was engaging and high energy.”