Across the country, stories of missing Black and brown people have largely remained unheard and their cases unsolved. One organization hopes to bring light to this national problem.
“We didn’t see many or any missing Black and brown people covered in the news,” said Natalie Wilson, the co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation.
Wilson and her sister-in-law Derrica started the organization in 2008.
“Doing our research, we found that 30% of all persons missing at that time were of color,” Wilson added. “So we said, why not us?”
Wilson works in public relations and her sister-in-law works in law enforcement, bringing together a unique set of skills that launched their grassroots efforts.
Since then, they’ve assisted hundreds of families, including the loved ones of Akia Eggleston who was 21 years old at the time of her disappearance. She was last seen in Baltimore and reported missing on May 7, 2017. Akia was eight months pregnant at the time.
“Akia is a young lady who had aspirations,” said her father, Shawn Wilkinson. “She still had a long life to live.” The man she was dating at the time of her disappearance is now facing charges,” he added.
As Akia’s family awaits justice, they are now working to share her story, the importance of parents supporting their children and funding for the programs that serve them.
“I didn’t know some of the things she was going through. Make sure you surround your child with positive influences,” stressed Wilkinson.
“We need the community to rally around these families. We can no longer turn a blind eye,” said Wilson.
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