We just started a petition titled "Take the Pledge: Protect Black Girls"
We are Samantha and Chioma and we are writing you from Washington, DC. We have been working for years to protect the girls and youth that mainstream media are referring to as “missing”. We are heart warmed by the concern our nation is showing for these Black and Brown girls. But now we need your help to ensure this community awareness converts into community action to protect our youth.
Will you take a pledge and let Washington, DC youth activists know that you’re committed to taking action with us to protect Black girls?
The nation is in shock as the viral hashtag #MissingDCGirls forced mainstream media to amplify the news that Black and Brown girls are going missing in Washington, DC.1 And now, for the first time in history, some of this country’s largest news outlets are focusing on what they are considering a new phenomenon of Black girls ‘missing’ -- unfortunately, this tragedy is far from new.
Year after year, Black girls have been driven from their homes in D.C. and across the country. Black girls have often been forced to leave their homes because of circumstances beyond their control. Some are kidnapped or trafficked, and others are running from situations of harm--like poverty, abuse, neglect. This reason is why we are focusing not only on FINDING missing Black girls but also PROTECTING Black girls and all youth from harm in and outside of their homes.
Join us if you pledge to protect our youth!
Black communities have a strong legacy of caring, defending and protecting our girls and all young people beyond state policing. Lawmakers in DC have vowed to address #MissingDCGirls by putting more police on the street. But since colonization, the U.S. has used state policing to criminalize and terrorize Black communities instead of keeping them safe. Last year, the state department even released a report exposing the sexual violence police are inflicting on Black women and communities. And just a few years ago, DC Officer Linwood Barnhill Jr. was caught running a prostitution ring out of his home.2 So, for Black folks, protecting our young people cannot start or end with policing.
Will you pledge to protect Black girls?
Washington, DC activist and organizers have been convening over the past several days to develop initiatives with long-term youth advocates and direct service providers.3 They are expected to share their solutions, needs and next steps with the public this week. But in the meantime, they need a commitment from those who care. Will you take action to keep our youth safe ?
Sign the Pledge here.
Samantha Davis, Black Swan4
Chioma Iwuoha, Melanin Uprising5