with Kimberly Churches of American Association of University Women
Posted Jul 21, 2017
Share the Video
Student debt in the U.S. totals more than $1.3 trillion, disproportionately affecting women, who hold nearly two-thirds of that debt. Why is this the case How does the gender pay gap factor into student loans Kimberly Churches, C.E.O. of the American Association of University Women answers these questions and many more.
Interview recorded June 14, 2017.
Traynham: As the student-debt crisis continues to mount, a 2017 report by the American Association of University Women reveals that the average female college graduate owes $1,500 more in loans than her male counterparts. Hello, everyone. Welcome to "Comcast Newsmakers." I m Robert Traynham. Kim Churches, CEO of AAUW, the organization that just released the report, joins me. Kim, welcome to the program.
Churches: Thanks very much.
Traynham: I hate to say this, but I m not surprised when I read your report. Here's why. We continue to hear over and over and over again the pay-inequity gap between male and female. Is it 70 cents on the dollar
Churches: 80 cents on the dollar, but when you get into women of color, it's even worse. Really, that pay-equity gap for African-American women in this country is at 63 cents on the dollar, and for Latinas, 54 cents on the dollar. So it really compounds the issue.
Traynham: So, what is the solution
Churches: So, really, I think one of the biggest things we need to make sure we do is that we can take action. One of that is to strengthen our Pell Grants as we think about this, and this report in particular wasn't surprising to many of us, but when you think about if somebody takes on school debt and then they don t even graduate from college, so you've got the debt of your student loans and you don't even have the benefit of the degree to help you to raise more income, and then when you think about compound interest of what that does, and already with an existing pay-equity gap, it just keeps women further behind their male counterparts.
Traynham: Sure. Kim, this is a silly question, but I have to ask it. I think some people would say, "Well, wait a minute. You and I go to the same college. I m a male. You're a female. It s the same tuition. How can you have $1,500 more in student-loan debt than me "
Churches: Yeah. Well, we re taking out more loans is the problem, and more women are... Now today 57% of college enrollees and attendants are women, which is fantastic. We ve made extraordinary strides over the last few decades. But as we think about their first salary coming out of college and their ability to start to repay that student-loan debt, it s just much more dramatic now. So there's $1.3 trillion of student-loan debt in this country, which is an astounding number, but if 2/3 of that is held by women -- and women also, in many cases, are single family earners and taking care of children, and you compound that with child care -- it s a real problem. So it takes them longer and longer to be able to pay off that debt.
Traynham: Statistically, do women go on to higher-education degrees -- in other words, go and do masters or postgraduate work
Churches: So, we are now -- women are the majority at the undergraduate and graduate levels, which again is fantastic compared to many decades ago. Great strides. But if they're not able to attain the right level of salary once they complete that education or, worse, if they don t complete the education and just have the debt, all the worse.
The Asian American Pacific Islander community makes up six percent of the U.S. population, but is growing more than four times as rapidly as the total U.S. population. Asians are the largest group of immigrants to enter the U.S. as immigrants. A conversation with Janelle Wong, Senior Researcher at AAPI Data about the fastest-growing but one of the understudied racial groups in the United States.
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted this summer in Seattle, with more than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing 50 states and the District of Columbia. Jason Schriml of the Special Olympics USA Games discussed the impact the games and this organization that highlights athletes with intellectual disabilities through highly competitive sports, uplifting experiences, and demonstrating inclusion for all.
Preparations are underway for the 2020 United States Census. A fair and accurate count of all communities is of major importance, as data gathered is used to determine federal funding, congressional representation and more. For some populations, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the process can be of concern due to immigration status, language barriers and fear of providing personal information. John Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC joins Robert Traynham to discuss the importance of an accurate count, especially for the AAPI population in America.
Filipino Americans make up the third largest subgroup of Asian Americans today, with millennials comprising nearly a quarter of this population. And while there about 4 million Filipino and Filipino Americans living in the U.S today, this population is underrepresented in political and leadership roles. Brendan Flores, National Chairman of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations joins Robert Traynam to discuss the welfare and well-being of Filipino Americans and efforts to strengthen the personal and professional development of young Filipino Americans.
According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. Asian population increased 72 percent between 2000 and 2015, resulting in the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group. And as this population continues to grow, there remains a lack of involvement in politics and corporate leadership positions. Kendall Kosai, Deputy Director at OCA National discussed programs designed to help high school students explore their identity, and encourage them to become future community leaders.
Korean Americans, like many other Asian Americans, are recent immigrants to the United States, emigrating in large numbers after 1965. As first and second generation Americans, many still have close ties with their homeland, where family and friends still reside. A discussion with Sam Yoon, Executive Director of the Council of Korean Americans on the Korean American community, including their ties to both North and South Korea.
Twenty percent of young people ages thirteen to eighteen have a mental health condition. And while mental illness is pervasive in our society, the stigma that surrounds it discourages people from seeking help.
Karen Gerndt of the National Alliance on Mental Illness discusses initiatives intended to educate and start conversations between students, within families, with teachers and others. Part two includes conversation starters and additional information.
Interview recorded June 14, 2017. Hosted by Robert Traynham. Part 2 of 2.
Read a partial transcript of this interview below:
Traynham: And let's say I'm a teenager. Let's say I'm 13 -- doesn't matter -- 13, 14, 15 years old, and I'm feeling a certain way, but perhaps I may not have parents around. Perhaps I don't have the relationship with my parents that maybe you and I had. Where can I go for some information confidentially
Gerndt: Sure. Again, you can go to nami.org, but you also want to go to your school counselor and talk to them and share with a trusted adult. And one of our programs, called NAMI Ending the Silence, really teaches teens how to identify either for themselves or for a friend and really get to that trusted adult so that they can get help and get that sooner. Because research is showing us, the sooner we have treatment, the better the outcomes are gonna be long-term.
Traynham: And, Karen, I believe research also shows that having a conversation about this and normalizing it to a certain degree where there is no stigma -- there should be no stigma, there should be no shame -- helps individuals to be able to come to terms with this and also to get the treatment that they need.
Traynham: How important is that, "A," and, "B," how frequent should you have conversations with your child
Gerndt: You want to have conversations with your child from Day 1, just if they're not feeling well, if they're sad, if they're behavior is changing, is to bring it up and start talking about it right away, just as you would if you had a bug bite or scratches or were feeling just anxious around that, so that it, again, is just common conversation.
Traynham: This is an odd question to ask, but who should initiate that conversation -- the parent or the child Or does it matter
Gerndt: It doesn't matter as long as you talk about that. We also have a free college guide to start the conversation between parents and students. And that, again, just really talks about somebody needs to start talking about this and asking questions. "How are you feeling Are things going okay at school " And you can do that whether you're in college or whether you're in high school and middle school.
Traynham: You know, it's really interesting that bullying -- online bullying but also in-person bullying -- I think impacts people in many, many different ways, being called stupid or being called slow or using the "R" word, meaning retarded, and so forth, it just creates this culture where it's okay to say those things. How do we combat that, the bullying part of this
Gerndt:You really want to make it... touch home and let people know how it impacts people. Our Ending the Silence program, again, has a young adult come in and talk to the students in high school.
Traynham: So it's peer to peer, so, in other words, a young adult coming in and talking to a young adult.
Gerndt: Right, right.
Traynham: That's really important.
Gerndt: It is so impactful with that young adult to be able to say, "This is what happened to me when I was in high school. I'm not alone." And it's important, again, for that young adult to say, "I got help, and things got better. And you need to take that step for yourself or you need you to take that step for a friend."
Twenty years ago, only four percent of Fortune 500 companies had any kind of protection for LGBT people. Today, only about four percent don't have those protections. Selisse Berry, Founder and CEO of Out and Equal Workplace Advocates reflects on the work she and her organization have done over the past two decades and the work yet to be done for LGBT Equality. This discussion continues in part 2 (Journey to Workplace Equality).
Visit Out and Equal on the web, on Facebook or follow on Twitter.
Interview recorded on May 17, 2017.
There is a current trend toward incivility dominating public discourse in the United States. A grassroots campaign is working to reverse that trend, encouraging civility to improve collaboration, compromise and productivity in legislative bodies. Jody Thomas, Executive Director of the National Foundation for Women Legislators discusses efforts by NFWL and partnering organizations to encourage civil discourse for elected officials.
The LGBTQ fight for equal rights became organized in 1969, after the riots at New York City's Stonewall Inn. LGBTQ civil rights activist and author Mark Segal has been involved in the movement from its beginning. Mark joins Robert Traynham for a candid and intimate discussion about his life, his role in the fight for equality, and the state of LGBTQ rights across America and around the globe. Mark is the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News. This discussion continues in part 2 (Journey Toward LGBTQ Equality).
Visit the Philadelphia Gay News on the web, on Facebook or follow on Twitter.
Interview recorded on May 17, 2017.