October 10, 2023
California launched the nation’s first-ever “Ebony Alert” in response to the crisis of missing Black women and children.
Signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday, the Ebony Alert system will take effect Jan. 1, 2024.
“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,” Sen. Steven Bradford, who spearheaded the new legislation, said in a statement.
“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, African Americans make up only 13 percent of the population, however, 40 percent of missing persons are persons of color.
“Black children are disproportionately classified as ‘runaways’ in comparison to white children who are classified as ‘missing,’” a news release from Bradford’s office stated. “As a result, many Black children do not receive the Amber Alert or media attention highlighting that they are missing.”
The Ebony Alert, referred to also as SB 673, authorizes California Highway Patrol to activate an electronic notification similar to an Amber Alert to warn the public of a missing or endangered Black woman or child.
The new law 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: The Messenger