Pharrell pays student debt for five NAACP leaders

Pharrell just changed five lives.

The multi-hyphen and its Something In the Water festival canceled the student debt of five young black leaders. The generous move was announced Friday at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, DC, where the NAACP was hosting a panel on the black student debt crisis. The event was hosted by Wisdom Cole, the organization’s National Youth and Colleges Director.

“Pharrell changed their lives forever. It was a powerful moment,” Cole told WJLA. “Now imagine if President Biden made that a reality for every student debt holder in America. Student debt continues to plague disproportionately the black community and crushing opportunity for so many black people. It’s time to close the racial wealth gap, it’s time for President Biden to keep his promise.

He continued, “Student debt continues to disproportionately plague the black community and crush opportunity for so many black people. It’s time to close the racial wealth gap, it’s time for President Biden to keep his promise.

According to WJLA, the recipients of the debt relief are Robyn Hughes, a junior from Southern University; North Carolina A&T alumnus Damarius Davis; Norfolk State University alumnus Jamie Turner; Channing Hill, senior at Howard University; and Devan Vilfrard, senior at Florida A&M University.

You can watch their emotional reactions to the news below.

The Biden administration extended the pause on student loan repayments earlier this year and is expected to announce a decision on loan cancellation this summer. The president has previously confirmed he won’t forgive $50,000 in student loans, which many have demanded; however, he told the nation he was considering some form of debt reduction.

“I’m not looking at reducing the debt by $50,000,” Biden said in April. “But I’m looking closely at whether or not there will be further debt forgiveness, and I’ll have an answer on that within the next two weeks.”

Pharrell’s Something In the Water festival kicked off Friday in DC and will end on Sunday. Performers include Tyler, the creator; Pusha-T; Lil Uzi Vert; Justin Timberlake; SZA; Clipse and Anderson .Paak.

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