1. Looking Ahead to 2017
In her year-end blog post, Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong reflects on the work that the Roosevelt Institute has done this year and how it has laid the foundation for many important fights in the year ahead, from taming corporate power to rewriting the racial rules and empowering a new generation of leaders.
2. The Return of Voodoo Economics
Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz argues that Donald Trump’s economic promises are based on the “big lie” that big tax cuts and higher infrastructure and defense spending can coexist with lower deficits – and it’s going to cost American workers.
3. Police Violence in the Trump Era
Roosevelt Fellow Dorian Warren writes in Ebony that the Trump presidency, with its promises of a harsh “law and order” approach, brings with it an increased threat of police violence against black and Latino Americans, and the only solution may be local movement-building and activism.
4. The Student Debt Crisis Is Real
In the Boston Review, Roosevelt Fellow and Senior Economist Marshall Steinbaum makes the case that the cost of acquiring a college degree has become a toll that Americans must pay to enter the workforce, and that the best response is to expand free public college and eliminate the gatekeepers to higher ed.
5. Remembering FDR's Call for Unity
Reflecting on Barack Obama’s post-election call for shared commitment to democratic norms, Roosevelt Senior Fellow David Woolner recalls FDR’s own message about the importance of national unity and what it means in the face of electoral interference by the FBI and Russia.
As a queer kid growing up in a small town, it was a struggle to find my place in the education system. I grew up in a home in which it was expected that I would do well and pursue a “traditional” four-year college education. But a feeling of otherness and failure colored my opinion of myself, and of the system.
When I began attending a small, liberal arts university after high school I gained a new respect for my identity; it became clearer than ever that a traditional education journey was not for me. If the system was not designed for me, I set out to design it for myself. That’s what led me to community college.
At Wake Technical Community College, I have access to amazing mentorship. My mentor has given me opportunities to use my voice to empower others, and myself. I present lectures in her classes once a semester about the LGBTQ+ community and how to work with this demographic in the field. I came into the program as a poor public speaker, but she has encouraged me to be confidant and educate people about a meaningful part of my life.
I plan to finish my Bachelor’s degree in substance abuse counseling, and potentially earn a Master’s degree in Social Work. My hope is to work with LGBTQ+ youth who are struggling with substance abuse or mental illness.
Community college has empowered me in a way that my other educational experiences did not. It has allowed me to set my own pace, develop my lifestyle, and find my voice. It has given me a tangible education that I can carry with me no matter what. I have bettered myself, and now I know how to use my voice to better society. That’s why I’m supporting Heads Up America’s movement to make community college free – every hard working student should have the opportunity I did to improve their lives and their communities.
PS: Has community college changed your life? Share this image with your story and use #HeadsUpAmerica.
I’m Arturo Aguirre and thanks to community college I am graduating from UCLA next month! This summer, Heads Up America will profile current and former community college students, like me, who have benefited from a “College Promise” program, which provides a free community college education. Here’s my story to help kick off this “Summer Stories Series.”
I was born and raised in the small town of Santa Paula in Ventura County, California. My parents are working class Mexican immigrants. Raising my two sisters and me wasn’t easy. They’ve always encouraged us to pursue an education because they want a better life and opportunities for us.
During the college application process, I realized that I couldn’t afford to attend a four-year institution. That’s when I learned about the Ventura College Promise. Community college offered a more affordable and practical route.
After two years at Ventura College, I transferred to UCLA. UCLA accepts more transfer students than any other top-tier school in the country. My time at Ventura College strengthened my study skills and educational fundamentals, helping me succeed at the next level. I was also very fortunate to receive a scholarship from the Ventura Foundation that helped fund my time at UCLA.
I wanted to give back, so at UCLA I joined The Center for American Politics and Public Policy (CAPPP). Through CAPPP, I was selected for an internship at Scholarship America’s Washington, D.C. office where I supported policies to help underprivileged students access higher education.
I know I wouldn’t be graduating from UCLA next month without the Ventura College Promise. I’m grateful that so many people across the country are supporting Heads Up America to ensure students like me can achieve their potential.
PS: Do you have a powerful community college story? Share this image with your story and use #HeadsUpAmerica!