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Students are facing more financial emergencies than ever before, and institutions of higher education across the country are struggling to pivot to offer the help and support that students need. Much attention has been given to stop out rates, drop out rates, and decreasing enrollment and transfer rates. The concept of a lost generation of students has permeated higher education circles, conferences, and forums.

What is missing from these conversations? The idea of seeing students as humans first.

Pre-COVID, 43% of students at two and four year universities in the United States were food insecure. 48% of them faced housing insecurity, and 16% of them experienced homelessness. Since the pandemic hit, a survey of 38,000 students conducted by the Hope Center for College Community and Justice indicated that 3 in 5 students (60%) were experiencing basic needs insecurity. 63% of students at four year colleges and 50% of students at two year colleges indicated that they couldn’t concentrate on school because of the pandemic.

The student basic needs crisis that existed prior to the pandemic has hit a tipping point, and students that were barely “making it” have joined those already impacted by the crisis and have been forced to re-evaluate their short and long term futures. This often means eliminating higher education from their plans.

Fortunately, there is hope amid this daunting landscape. Join us for a conversation on January 28, 2021, with the nation’s leading experts on Student Basic Needs to evaluate where we stand in our response to help students and what relief 2021 might bring.

Student Basic Needs Meet Our Panelists

Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab is Professor of Sociology and Medicine at Temple University, she is also the Founder and President of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice in Philadelphia. Additionally, Sara is the Chief Strategy Officer for Emergency Aid at Edquity, a student financial success and emergency aid company, and founded Believe in Students, a nonprofit distributing emergency aid.

Sara is best known for her innovative research on food and housing insecurity in higher education, having led the five largest national studies on the subject, and for her work on making public higher education free.

Dr. Rashida Crutchfield is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at California State University, Long Beach. She is an advocate committed to amplifying the voices of marginalized communities through research and service. Dr. Crutchfield was a Principal Investigator for the California State University Office of the Chancellor study on food and housing security. Her continued research and advocacy on basic needs for students has garnered statewide and national attention. She has provided input on state policy and provides consultation and support to agencies, staff, faculty, and administrators across the nation. She has authored or co-authored many publications, including Addressing Homelessness and Housing Insecurity in Higher Education: Strategies for Educational Leaders.

Rachel Sumekh is the Founder and CEO of Swipe Out Hunger, a leading nonprofit that addresses hunger amongst college students. Her work has been recognized by President Barack Obama and landed her on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.

Rachel created Swipe Out Hunger in 2010 with a few friends at UCLA. It has grown onto over 120 university campuses, serving 2 million nourishing meals to students in need. Their innovative approach allows university students to donate unused funds from their meal plans to food insecure peers. In 2017 she wrote the Hunger Free Campus Act which the state of California passed and has since sent $50+ million to anti-hunger programs on campuses.

Rachel is a nationally recognized social entrepreneur. She serves on the board of her spiritual community, IKAR and is a proud native Angeleno and graduate of UCLA. She credits her upbringing as the child of Iranian Jewish immigrants for her intersectional perspective.

To register for the webinar, visit this Zoom page

The Michelson 20MM Foundation is dedicated to supporting and investing in leading organizations, technologies, and initiatives that seek to transform learning and improve access to educational opportunities that lead to a meaningful career. Michelson 20MM was founded thanks to the generous support of renowned spinal surgeon and inventor Dr. Gary K. Michelson and his wife, Alya Michelson. Visit us at 20mm.org.