Black and Brown Girls Matter

In March, a social media meme went viral stating that 14 Black and Latinx girls went missing from the DC area within a 24-hour span. While the statistic was incorrect, it sparked a much-needed conversation about missing girls of color in America, and the overall lack of attention from the media and white communities. This was glaringly obvious at a recent town hall meeting in DC on the missing girls, which was attended almost exclusively by Black folks, and left many women of color wondering where the white women they marched with in January were. For many white women, it may be painful to hear that they have not shown up for their sisters of color; it is also painful for women of color to be ignored by their white sisters when children of color are missing.

While all missing youth face obstacles and are at risk of some kind of violence, girls of color, particularly Black and Indigenous girls, face intersecting threats of gendered violence, racial violence, and mistreatment and violence within systems and institutions that are supposed to serve them. Trans, queer, and gender nonconforming young people, as well as disabled youth, also face intersecting violence and represent a disproportionate share of homeless youth.

The response to #MissingGirlsDC has shown just how pervasive this violence is - and how invisible it is to those who are not directly impacted by it. It is not invisible. We all know it is happening. And we all must act.

Today, Women’s March is launching an awareness campaign to connect people, huddles, and communities, to resources around the issue of the missing Black, Latinx, and Indigenous girls. We are committed to supporting, advocating for, and uplifting the work of local organizations that have long been dedicated to finding and caring for these girls, and for all missing youth - including trans and gender nonconforming youth. Below, we’ve included some organizations based around the country for you to consider supporting - whether by attending meetings and events, volunteering, spreading the word on social media, or through financial support.

We cannot and will not rest until all women and girls and femmes are able to live free from violence.


ARTICLES ON MISSING GIRLS

How America Fails Black Girls

There's Not a Missing-Teen Epidemic in D.C. - Just Confirmation of the Sad Status Quo

Why the Crisis of Missing Black Girls Needs More Attention Than It’s Getting

Why You Should Pay Attention To DC's Missing Girls If You Attended The Women's March

ESSENCE Special Report: How D.C.'s Disappearing Girls Highlight The Nation's Black and Missing Problem

All Lives Matter Didn’t Show Up For A Meeting About Missing Black And Brown Teens

Want to help DC’s missing Black and Latinx teens? Runaway, homeless youth need housing.

Who are the Missing DC Girls? A Viral Tweet Started an Important Conversation.

#MissingDC Girls: How A Seldom-Discussed Social Issue Became a Social Media Flashpoint

 

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES ON
MISSING AND VULNERABLE YOUTH

The problem of missing youth of color is about many things at once. It is about the racial disparities of Amber Alerts and media concern for missing girls. It is about the racialized constructions of what a victim looks like. It is about the devaluation of girls of color. It is about the conflation of sex work with survival sex with human trafficking. It is about domestic violence and child abuse. It is about transphobia and homophobia. It is about poverty. It is about housing and homelessness. It is about living in a country that is unsafe for girls, and deeply unsafe for girls of color, and LGBTQIA+, and disabled youth. We have compiled a list of resources on these issues:

To learn more about the requirements for issuing Amber Alerts, see here, and see here for an analysis of their racially disparate implementation.

To learn more about the demographic breakdown of missing youth, see here and here.

To learn more about the disparate media attention on missing white girls vs. missing girls of color, see here, here, and here.

To learn more about missing and murdered Indigenous women, see here, here, and here.

To learn more about the institutionalized criminalization and deprioritization of Black girls, see here and here.

To learn more about the distinction between sex work, survival sex, and human trafficking, see here (go to page 7) and here.

To learn more about trafficking, see here and here.

To learn more about the statistics relating to homeless youth see here.

To learn more about LGBTQIA youth and homelessness, see here.

To learn more about disabled youth and homelessness, see here.

To learn more about the "rescue industry," see here.

 

ORGANIZATIONS WE RECOMMEND SUPPORTING

We will continue to grow this list of organizations that support vulnerable and homeless youth - particularly youth of color - in a respectful and inclusive way that does not shame or further criminalize them by entering them into the criminal justice system. Please keep checking back for updates. If you have a suggestion for an organization or concerns about any of the organizations listed below, email [email protected].

 

National

National Coalition for the Homeless

Harm Reduction Coalition

SOAR

The Trevor Project

 

Arizona

One n Ten

 

California

Children’s Institute, Inc.

First Place for Youth

My Friend’s Place

LYRIC

Larkin Street Youth Services

 

COLORADO

Urban Peak

Third Way Center

Attention Homes

COLOR Latina

The Gathering Place

 

Connecticut

Love 146

True Colors

 

DC Metropolitan Area

Black & Missing Foundation

Collective Action for Safe Spaces

Children's Law Center

Safe Shores

Casa Ruby

HER Resiliency Center

Sasha Bruce Youth Center

Fair Girls

 

Florida

PACE Center for Girls

JASMYN

 

Illinois

Young Women’s Empowerment Project

 

Maine

New Beginnings

 

Michigan

Ruth Ellis Center

 

Minnesota

Avenues for Homeless Youth

 

New Jersey

LifeTies

 

New Mexico

National Indian Youth Leadership Project

 

New York

The Ali Forney Center

Picture the Homeless

The Door

Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Safe Horizon

New York Anti-Trafficking Network

Black Women's Blueprint

 

Oklahoma

Youth Services of Tulsa

 

Oregon

Outside In

New Avenues for Youth

 

Texas

Thrive Youth Center


Downloadable Graphics