By the end of the year, the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls plans to present a report on the subject of missing black children around the world and how to address and possibly solve the issue.
“We don’t want to just talk about the problems, we want to think about the solutions,” Rep. Robin Kelly said Wednesday at a town hall, reports KITV.
The group was founded by Kelly, Rep. Yvette Clarke and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman in 2016 and has gathered over 20 lawmakers, all of them working to find the causes and to come up with ways to prevent the fact that so many black children go missing.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, after hearing that black women and girls were more likely to go missing than other groups, called the data “such an injustice.”
“I feel like knocking on every attic, every garage to see where those girls are,” she said. “Let’s be an example to the world that we can’t rest until these girls are found.”
Kisha Roberts-Tabb, a juvenile probation officer for Cook County, said that more training was necessary so that officials and those who are supposed to help can recognize the signs of trafficking. “We miss so many young ladies that are being exploited because we don’t see African-American girls as victims, we see them as misbehaving,” she said.
The group is hoping to dispel the notion that the cases of missing black girls can all be set down to runaways or children who are leaving bad home situations.
“There are parks. There are malls. There are recreation centers,” said Stephanie Cooney, a legal fellow with the Black Women’s Health Imperative. “Traffickers know where minors frequent. They know where to meet them. They know where to talk to them. They can very well be your community members.”
“Somebody’s got to work in this space,” Coleman said. “I tell you, we are ready willing and able. We will be whatever kind of motivation or impetus that is needed.”