An initiative of the Center for Cultural Innovation


WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 04: Supporters of The Debt Collective walk past the U.S. Department of Education to demand full student debt cancellation on April 04, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for MoveOn & Debt Collective)

Debt Collective

Debt Collective, a project of Sustainable Markets Foundation, organizes around intersecting forms of indebtedness – from medical debt to criminal punishment debt, housing debt to student debt – that characterize life for working people, particularly in Black and Brown communities. Debt Collective frames the issue of debt as a systemic problem where the financial industrial complex targets, exploits, and extracts disproportionately from cultural communities under threat. Debt Collective encourages debt holders, including artists, to collectivize their debt and their political voice to force debt relief and changes to the legal system to protect individuals from predatory financial practices.

In 2023, AmbitioUS provided a one-year $100,000 project grant to support Debt Collective’s staff and their efforts to fight debt in all its forms, directed to its fiscal sponsor, Sustainable Markets Foundation.


Economic Trailblazer and Artist Assets






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