The Pit of Despair in Atlanta, Georgia

It was perhaps an appropriately rainy day in Georgia as Rise Up Georgia and Jobs with Justice brought out the Pit of Despair in Atlanta, helping consumers visualize the debt trap that drowns so many payday bowers in debt. People lined up to fall into the pit and to tell the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to finally propose a rule …

The Pit of Despair in Birmingham

The Pit of Despair was set up at an action in the Birmingham neighborhood of Ensley, which is checkered with payday loan storefronts. City councilwoman Lashunda Scales, Joe Dean of the Baptist Church of the Covenant, and Mary Jones of the Greater Birmingham Ministries joined Alabama Arise and Alabama Appleseed in hoisting their neighbors out of, jumping over, and falling …

Purdue students standing over the Pit of Despair

The Pit of Despair Opens Up in Indianapolis

At Purdue University’s Indianapolis campus, the Sociology Club of IUPUI and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group asked students what they thought of the hundreds of payday lenders that checker their state, ensnaring their neighbors with an average annual interest rate of 391%, according to a report from National People’s Action. At those rates, payday, car-title, and high-cost installment loans …

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The Pit of Despair goes to Michigan

AFR’s two-dimensional art piece “the Pit of Despair” traveled to Detroit for Michigan United’s annual conference. This “street theater” illustrates the hazard that short-term, high interest loans present to working families. The conference attracted over 400 attendees including labor groups, and legislators such as US Representative Debbie Dingell and a multitude of state senators and representatives. Detroit passersby were offered …