DC Mayor Muriel Bowser gave activists supporting #FindOurGirls a gift to ease their minds. Following a town hall meeting regarding the nation’s capital’s outlandish number of missing black and Latinx girls, the mayor saw it fit to develop a series of initiatives in response to the outcry for the missing girls this past Friday (March 24).
We will not rest until they are brought back safely. Link in bio to read our full statement on the missing Black and Latina girls. #BlackGirlsMatter #FindOurGirls Graphic: @savonne__ • IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A square graphic in which a black background with white text reads “black girls are too valuable to lose.”
The first initiative involves a task force that will “determine what social services teenagers who runaway need.” In addition, the city will designate a larger number of its police force to find the missing children. The series also includes increasing the funding allocated to organizations that interact with vulnerable teens and updating a city website, including more information on each of the missing children.
Although they are making strides in the right direction, a spokesperson for the mayor, Kevin Harris, insists on supporting the notion that a majority of the children are runaways. “Often times, these girls are repeat runaways,” Harris stated, “So if we really want to help solve this problem and bring down the numbers, we have to break the cycle of young people, especially young girls, who repeatedly run away from home.”
An advocate for the homeless youth, Deborah Shore, deemed it necessary to shed light on the reality of making this claim without relaying the dangers of a runaway child’s situation. The founder of the Sasha Bruce Youth Network claims, “There’s a view out there that this is a friendly kind of situation. But there are people who prey on young people. We have just seen and heard from so many young people that these arrangements are not friendly. They require some kind of payment, and often it’s for some kind of sexual favor.”
While Harris claims that the alarming number of missing black and Latinx girls had not increased, but just became more visible due to a social media initiative brought on by D.C.’s police department, there still is apprehension. A focus on clarifying that the girls are runaways as opposed to unbeknownst missing girls, diverts from the core issue—there are black and brown teenage girls missing at an alarming rate. Harris, however, reassures the public, “We don’t ever want this to become the norm.”