NAACP says it's Biden's 'turn now' after Pharrell Williams surprised 5 HBCU students, recent grads by paying off their student loan debt

Storytellers – Pharrell Williams With Minya Oh - 2022 Tribeca Festival
Storytellers – Pharrell Williams With Minya Oh - 2022 Tribeca FestivalDia Dipasupil / Getty Images
  • Pharrell Williams surprised five HBCU students and recent graduates by paying off their student loan debts.

  • "Pharrell forever changed their lives,"  Wisdom Cole, the NAACP's national director of youth and college, said.

  • "It's your turn now to do the same for all Americans plagued by student debt," the NAACP's president said to Biden.

Music producer Pharrell Williams on Friday surprised five NAACP youth leaders by paying off their student loan debts.

Williams made the announcement during an NAACP panel held in Washington D.C on the topic of the Black student debt crisis. This panel was part of William's Something in the Waters Festival, held in the nation's capital in celebration of Juneteenth.

"Pharrell forever changed their lives. Student debt continues to disproportionately plague the Black community and crush opportunities for so many Black people," Wisdom Cole, the NAACP's national director of youth and college, said in a press release, according to the LA Times. 

Black students are not only more likely to need to take on debt for school, but Black college graduates are also nearly five times as likely to default on their loans than their white peers, Insider's Allana Akhtar and Hillary Hoffower previously reported.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson called on President Joe Biden to address student loan debt for all Americans.

"It's your turn now to do the same for all Americans plagued by student debt," Johnson tweeted, tagging the president's Twitter account.

 

Biden is reportedly considering $10,000 in debt cancellation for borrowers making under $150,000 a year. A recent poll revealed that a majority of Americans want Biden to cancel student debt for all borrowers.

A final decision on a forgiveness plan is expected to be announced in July or August, which is when the pause on student-loan payment is set to expire after August 31, Insider's Ayelet Sheffey previously reported.

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