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California Creates Ebony Alert System to Help Find Missing Black Women and Children

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Because of Them We Can
October 12, 2023

California is taking a step in the right direction when it comes to helping find missing Black women and children. Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed a bill creating the “Ebony Alert,” which is a specialized alert notification system for Black people who have gone missing.

The new alert goes into effect on January 1 and has the goal of helping to bring missing Black women, children, and young people home in California. Senator Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, wrote the bill because the state’s missing Black children are disproportionately represented in missing persons lists, and he considers it a crisis for the state.

“Today, California is taking bold and needed action to locate missing Black children and Black women in California. I want to thank the Governor for signing the Ebony Alert into law,” Bradford said in a press release. “Our Black children and young women are disproportionately represented on the lists of missing persons. This is heartbreaking and painful for so many families and a public crisis for our entire state. The Ebony Alert can change this.”

According to the Black and Missing Foundation, 38 percent of children reported missing in the U.S. are Black. To put this into perspective, the U.S. population is 14 percent Black. Black children are disproportionately classified as “runaways” in comparison to white children who are classified as “missing.” As a result, many Black children do not receive the Amber Alert or media attention to highlight that they are missing.

“The Ebony Alert will ensure that vital resources and attention are given so we can bring home missing Black children and women in the same way we search for any missing child and missing person,” Bradford said.

Photo credit: Shelia Fitzgerald / Shutterstock

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