First Steps - 5 Minutes or Less
Contact your representative with this easy form. Identify yourself as a professor and clearly express your support for College for All.
Order a T-Shirt! The shirts read: “I am your professor. I think your student debt is unjust. Let’s talk.” Worn on campus and to class, they are a perfect way to get meaningful conversations started.
Next Steps - Get Organized!
See our steps below to get started on building the movement on your campus and beyond.
Circulate the signatory letter to faculty friends and allies on campus and urge them to sign. If there are people who seem passionate about the issue, meet face-to-face to decide on a useful, proactive course of action. Consider placing an OpEd in a campus or local paper, drafting a letter or petition to distribute to administrators, trustees, and alumni, or organizing a teach-in to raise the profile of College for All.
Approach already existing faculty groups on campus—a faculty association or senate, a union, an AAUP chapter, or an academic center on inequality with faculty affiliates. Urge them to place College for All on their agenda or take up the initiative as a research action initiative
Also consider outreach to campus staff unions, alumni associations, and activist groups in your community
Start a reading group. There is a vibrant body of scholarship not only on the ravages of student debt and neoliberal education, but increasingly on debt resistance, and the potential of indebtedness to become a form of collective political power.
In our experience, faculty/student collaboration is the key to effective action, and especially on an initiative like this, which links the student debt burden and the racial wealth gap to de-professionalization and the degradation of higher education as a public good. Consider forming a new faculty/student pressure group or a coalition of existing ones.
Building a Justice Campaign
The strongest nationwide campaigns have deep roots in local organizing, and are built from the bottom up. Although College for All now exists as a top-level legislative proposition in Congress, it evolved in response to organizing by debtors from predominantly low-income households who held for-profit college debts. Now is the time for academic professionals to pitch in, but in ways that are mindful of these histories of organizing, and accountable to unpaid debts from the histories of settler colonialism, slavery, and exclusion. Consider, for example, the Scholars for Social Justice campaign for reparations in higher education.
Beyond Your Campus
- Connect with other colleagues at area colleges to form city-wide, system-wide, or state-wide coalitions.
- Trade unions, NGO bodies, and grassroots activist groups are potential allies.
- College for All is a legislative proposal. Contact your elected representatives about your support for the proposal. Ask what position they take and why.