Associate Professor Terri Friedline received the 2022 Doctoral Student Organization Faculty Award. “I'm humbled to receive this award from doctoral students —an acknowledgement of my contributions,” said Friedline. “It is a tremendous honor to play a small role in supporting the next generations of social work and social sciences scholars.”
Associate Professor Terri Friedline shares her thoughts on President Biden’s student debt relief program in Fast Company. She says that while the relief package will make a real difference, she is concerned that it ignores the role structural racism and sexism play in educational debt. "The Biden administration will have to do more if it aims to adequately address these and the many other remaining structural problems with debt and education," she writes. The story originated in the Conversation and has been included in numerous publications including:
Associate Professor Terri Friedline submitted written comments about the elimination of overdraft fees to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services March 31, 2022 hearing. “If private banks remain unable or unwilling to take the steps necessary for creating equal, dignified access to retail financial services, then they should step aside and enthusiastically support options such as postal banking, public banking, mission-driven Community Development Financial Institutions, and mutual aid or solidarity economy networks, which are dedicated to serving people in need without charging expensive fees and adding to burdensome debt,” she writes.
Associate Professor Terri Friedline’s op-ed in The Emancipator on how reviving post office banking could advance racial equity. “More than 60 million Americans – one-fifth of the population – live in communities without a bank. They’re left either to travel long distances to handle their money or use more expensive nearby options like check-cashing companies, payday lenders and currency exchanges,” writes Friedline. Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research and The Boston Globe’s Opinion team are collaborating to resurrect and reimagine The Emancipator, the first abolitionist newspaper in the United States, founded more than 200 years ago.
Associate Professor Terri Friedline was invited to share her research on overdraft fees with the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. Friedline is part of a nationwide movement to eliminate overdraft fees which are excessive, predatory, and punish lower-income people for not having enough money in the bank.
Associate Professor Terri Friedline discusses her research in The Conversation on how postal banking could provide a financial lifeline to the millions of Americans without a bank account.
According to data, 24% of U.S. census tracts have neither a community bank nor a credit union branch, leaving 21 million people "underbanked." The lack of affordable banking creates real hardships that disproportionately hurt low-income Americans and communities of color. Without a bank account, people pay higher fees and interest rates, have a harder time building credit history and are less able to get mortgages and other kinds of loans, writes Friedline.
Associate Professor Terri Friedline and her co-author argue in their commentary “Powerful alternatives to predatory lenders: Postal Service banking and public banks” that the payday and auto title loan industry exists only because there are so many communities in the United States lacking even one traditional bank. The commentary was published in the Chicago Sun Times.
Associate Professor Terri Friedline’s new book, “Banking on a Revolution Why Financial Technology Won't Save a Broken System,” takes a critical look at advancements in financial technology (“fintech”) in the banking and financial industries, and makes the case for a more inclusive financial system. "Banking on a Revolution" is deeply rooted in theory and research, and it presents new interpretations of the climate crisis, student loan debt, and community benefits agreements and their relationships to the financial system. The book makes a compelling case for a revolutionized financial system that centers the needs, experiences, and perspectives of those it has historically excluded, marginalized, and exploited.
"To create a more equitable and democratized financial system, we need to shift the balance of power away from banks and lenders and toward people,” says Friedline. “Social movements can shift power imbalances and hold institutions accountable for the racist inequalities they have created — tasks for which fintech was not really designed."
Associate Professor Terri Friedline discusses the drop in demand for small-dollar loans with Morning Consult. Without additional government relief, she expects “things to get a lot worse as people are forced to take on debt, including higher-cost, small-dollar loans, to survive the pandemic.”
Associate Professor Terri Friedline has been selected for the U-M 2020 cohort of the Public Engagement Fellowship. Mentor fellows are faculty with more extensive experience in public engagement and will work closely with Fellows to provide guidance, connections and mentorship based on their own expertise and networks. Although planning for the Public Engagement Fellowship started before COVID-19, the current situation highlights how important programs like these are in preparing scholars for engagement - both in moments of crisis and over the long-term.
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