On February 7, 2020 the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin hosted an all-day conference that centers the work of social movements from South Africa to Puerto Rico, Turtle Island to the University of California as they have moved the idea of student debt abolition and free college from the politically impossible to the center of national conversations and federal policy proposals. In dialogue with prominent economists, political theorists, and scholar-activists, this event endeavors to reimagine higher education, and to rethink reparative public goods more broadly amidst the ruins of neoliberalism and the longer histories of racial settler capitalism of which it is a part.
Student debt in the United States currently stands at 1.7 trillion dollars, but as recently as 1999 it was too insignificant to measure. This staggering increase in household debt is disproportionately held by communities of color and women of color in particular. Tuition is too damn high. And yet, 2020 marks a moment of radical possibility. Years of social movement organizing and visionary scholarship have made possible imaginations and practices of reparative public finance including bold new forms of legislation and redress.
During these discussions, we invite you to reimagine the #FutureofFinance.
Members of the Debt Collective: Catrina Beverly, Sanders Fabares, Nathan Hornes, Pamela Hunt, Dawn Lueck, Makenzie Vasquez
Remaking the Public University: Colonialism, Austerity, Other Futures
Wendy Brown (UC Berkeley), Rima Brusi (CUNY Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies), Dylan Rodríguez (UC Riverside)
Q&A with panelists, moderated by Michael Meranze (UCLA)
Social Movements and the Fight for Reparative Public Goods
Nicolás Cruz (The Red Nation), Leigh Ann Naidoo (#FeesMustFall), Astra Taylor (Debt Collective)
Q&A with panelists, moderated by Andrew Ross (NYU)
Closing Keynote – Race, Capitalism and the Neoliberal University: Reimagining Justice Out of Crisis
Barbara Ransby (University of Illinois at Chicago, Scholars for Social Justice)
Q&A with audience, moderated by Robin D.G. Kelley (UCLA)