UNL Alum & Staff, Marvin Logan Jr., Advocates Affordable College in D.C

Marvin Logan Jr. joined Usher’s New Look in 2006 as an attendee of Camp New Look in Atlanta, our former summer program, coming all the way from Warren, Ohio. Marvin has always has a SPARK for advocacy and leadership. He attended Kent State University where he was student body president. Today, he lives in Atlanta and is pursuing his PhD in African American Studies at Clark Atlanta University. He was recently hired on as a member of UNL’s staff, working as the Administrative and Marketing Coordinator. This month, he was invited to represent the state of Ohio at the National Student Debt Day in Washington, D.C,  a day of learning and advocacy promoting more affordable college. Read about it below!

On January 28th, Young Invincibles, a national organization working to engage young adults on issues, such as higher education, health care, and jobs, launched its campaign to fix higher education, known as National Student Debt Day. The event took place in Washington, D.C., and was a day of training, discussions, and advocacy with student debt advocators present from all around the country. Senator Elizabeth Warren headlined the event, giving a fiery keynote. In her message, she addressed the most recent class of graduates, who just entered repayment on their federal loans: “For the small group of people that started repayment in the past year, the Department of Education estimates that this group will pay $650 million in interest. Think about what $650 million could mean in the pockets of young people.”

Senator Warren defined the fight facing young people in the years ahead. “We have a choice,” she said. “We can whine and complain about this, or we can fight back. And I’m here to fight back.” Marvin Logan provided comments to the National Campus Leadership Council on the event.

It’s great that this is a top, valid priority that the Democrats are fighting for, and I would like to see more action on the Republican side, because I think this is a bipartisan issue. College students come from all backgrounds and all walks of life. The fact is that over $1 trillion of student debt is holding graduates and our economy back—if they can’t pay that money back, it affects us on the other end as well. I’m really excited to find creative ways that we can move federally and at the state level to not only make college more affordable, but also to get the states to reinvest in education. From my perspective, as a former SGA president and current African American Studies scholar, we need to address how this affects students of color. One of the statistics we heard today is that African American student borrowers have to get at least 2 levels higher in education to compete with their counterparts as far as the pay rate is concerned, and that has a huge effect on how they can pay back that debt. I’m determined to take the fight back to Ohio and get this to our state legislature, because it is affecting us now and  it’s going to affect us in the future. It’s going to affect our children. Education is a public good, not a private good; and if we are going to continue to compete at a global level, education has to be at the top of our concerns. I think we need to focus on expanding the Pell Grant program, and continue to press states to make public education a priority and increase spending that promotes financial responsibility.

Learn how you can help us develop more global youth leaders like Marvin by investing in the new UNL Spark Lab, coming to Atlanta September 2016. www.UNLsparklab.org