In a caucus led by Democratic Illinois Rep. Robin Kelly, the focus was to explore the causes that lead to Black women and girls going missing at higher rates than their white counterparts, and how their cases are less likely to be solved or be covered by mainstream media, according to CBS 2 Chicago.
Oftentimes, the most powerful and loudest voices to call attention to missing Black women are their family members, who are begging for support from authorities and people in the community to take actionable steps towards finding their loved ones.
In attendance at the forum was Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who admitted that the city has not done its part to improve the disparity in missing Black women and girls.
According to CBS 2 Chicago, she said, “And in Chicago, we just have to be honest and say we don’t have a good track record when it comes to finding missing Black women and girls, supporting families and survivors, solving homicides relating to Black women. We must absolutely do better.”
From CBS 2 Chicago:
The National Crime Information Center reports more than 90,000 Black women and girls were reported missing across the United States in 2020. The congressional caucus said that number went up in 2021 to about 100,000.
Karen Phillips’ daughter Kierra Coles was pregnant when she went missing in 2018.
“Because she’s the color she is, that evidence don’t mean nothing,” said Phillips. “Did she have her baby? I wasn’t there. I was with all my girls when they had their kids.”
She said the Chicago Police Department has not answered her requests for information in two years.
“Every time they call, they’re on vacation. They have more vacation than anyone that I know,” she said.