55th Annual Consumer Assembly
May 4 & 5, 2021

Tuesday, May 4

1:00pm ET
Welcome & Introduction

Jack Gillis, Executive Director
Consumer Federation of America

1:05pm – 1:25pm ET

Rebecca Kelly Slaughter
Federal Trade Commission

1:30pm – 2:30pm ET
Surveillance Society: Protecting Consumers from Discrimination, Disparate Impacts and Unfair Data Practices

Consumers are increasingly surveilled to collect data about their activities, beliefs, interests, associations, health, economic status, and other characteristics in order to profile them for profit. The use of tracking technologies across websites and devices, facial recognition, artificial intelligence, automated decision-making, and targeted advertising is largely invisible to consumers and may result in illegal discrimination, disparate impacts, and unfair treatment. At the same time, one-sided terms of service and inadequate legal rights make it difficult for consumers to protect themselves. What should be done to ensure that data practices are just, fair and equitable?


Susan Grant
Consumer Federation of America


Rishi Bharwani
Accountable Tech

Caitriona Fitzgerald
Electronic Privacy Information Center

Jennifer Lee
ACLU Washington

2:35pm – 3:35pm ET
COVID-19’s Disparate Impact on Housing Security

The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a devastating impact on the American economy and the personal finances of many American consumers. Yet, some communities, in particular, have been especially hard hit. This panel explores how pre-existing income volatility and wealth disparities have increased significantly because of the pandemic and, as a result, exacerbated housing security challenges in both communities of color and low-income households. After outlining the problem, this panel will weigh the effectiveness of various policy options around rental assistance, affordable housing, and mortgage forbearance and forgiveness strategies to determine how best to help these communities recover.


Aracely Panameño
Center for Responsible Lending


Kanav Bhagat
Author & Researcher

Andreanecia M. Morris

Sarah Saadian

3:40pm – 4:10pm ET
Keynote: A Conversation with Lisa Donner and Heather McGhee about the Costs of Racism

Heather McGhee
Author, NYTimes best seller, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

Lisa Donner
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund

Wednesday, May 5

1:15pm ET
Welcome & Introduction

Jack Gillis, Executive Director
Consumer Federation of America

1:20pm – 1:25pm ET
Keynote: Senator Ed Markey

Senator Ed Markey
U.S. Senate

1:30pm – 2:30pm ET
Beyond Debt Cancellation: Protecting Student Borrowers from Abuses in the Current System

In the last decade, the student loan debt burden has grown to more than $1.7 trillion carried by 45 million borrowers. For decades, the Federal Government has set up programs to provide relief for certain borrowers, including public service workers, borrowers with disabilities, low-income consumers, servicemembers and veterans. However, systemic failures and mismanagement has equated to little actual relief for struggling borrowers. This panel will delve into these issues and what the current administration can do to help borrowers facing economic hardship. In addition, this panel will look at other consumer protection laws and how these can be applied to ensure that relief programs are working as intended.


Kat Welbeck
Student Borrower Protection Center


Yael Shavit
Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts

Persis Yu
National Consumer Law Center

Mike Saunders
Veterans Education Success

2:35pm – 3:35pm ET
Can Regulators Keep Pace with New Investors and the Fintech Firms that Cater to Them?

A new generation of investors and the financial firms that cater to them are transforming our markets, and regulators are struggling to keep pace. What have the recent social media-driven trading in GameStop and other “meme” stocks revealed about weaknesses in our markets and gaps in our regulations? How should regulators address gamification of trading apps like Robinhood and the psychological prompts that may notbe captured by traditional sales practice rules? A panel of experts will discuss how these issues are reframing our approach to investor protection and market regulation.


Barbara Roper
Consumer Federation of America


Gina-Gail Fletcher
Duke University School of Law

Angela Fontes
NORC at the University of Chicago

Tyler Gellasch
Healthy Markets Association

James F. Tierney
University of Nebraska College of Law

3:40pm – 4:00pm ET
Keynote: The Time is Now – Recall Reform on the Hill

Representative Grace Meng
U.S. House of Representatives

Speaker Bios