February 25, 2012
The local organization “Black and Missing Foundation Inc.” works to generate more awareness in the media and among law enforcement about missing persons of color.
Friday, the organization’s co-founder Derrica Wilson appeared on ABC’s “The View” along with the parents of missing teen Mishell Green. Remarkably, the national spotlight helped NYPD detectives close the case in just a matter of hours.
The 16-year-old disappeared more than five months ago heading to an after-school program in New York.
“When we talked to the family, we were just in awe,” said Derrica Wilson. “We provided that info and the lead detectives jumped right on it.”
The details of Green’s discovery are still limited, but she was found alive and she’s being reunited with her parents.
Wilson spent 10 years in law enforcement before co-founding her organization in D.C. with her sister-in-law Natalie.
She says law enforcement doesn’t know what to do because of inadequate training.
“The easiest part is finding the person, the hardest part is the aftermath,” Wilson said. “There is so much these families need after the fact. The therapy, the counseling, so our jobs will not stop, we’ll still work with the family.”
According to Wilson, Green’s case is one of about 300,000 missing people of color cases across the U.S.
On their website, they feature cases like 26-year-old Unique Harris, a mother of two, who in the middle of the night disappeared from her Southeast D.C. apartment in October 2010.
“Every time I talk to my grandsons they’re like ‘Grandma have you found mommy yet?’ It is totally heartbreaking beyond imagination,” said Harris’ mother.
Wilson and her sister-in-law hope the media spotlight will lead to more national exposure for other cases, cases that might otherwise go overlooked.
“We will not rest until reunions, closure and justice happen for these families. We simply will not rest,” Wilson said.
Photo credit: ABC/The View