A congressional caucus founded by Kelly, Rep. Yvette Clarke and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman in 2016 plans to present a report by the end of the year on how to solve the problem of missing black children nationwide.
“We don’t want to just talk about the problems, we want to think about the solutions,” Rep. Robin Kelly said Wednesday.
In a town hall hosted on Wednesday, local D.C. officials, activists and law enforcement spoke about getting more funding to solve D.C.’s missing teens crisis.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said it’s an injustice that women and girls of color are more than likely to go missing.
“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.”
Panelists wanted to dispel the idea that all missing black girls are runaways from challenging backgrounds involved in illicit activities and said any young person who is active on social media can find themselves at risk of being abducted.
“There are parks. There are malls. There are recreation centers,” said Stephanie Cooney, a legal fellow with the Black Women’s Health Imperative, a DC-based health organization. “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.”