We are pleased that Tyler Perry, Rev. Al Sharpton and Ben Jealous, President and CEO of NAACP, are using their platform to bring awareness to the disparity in media coverage of missing persons of color.
Unfortunately, the disappearance of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos are all too common in our communities. According to FBI statistics, 678,860 people in the United States were reported missing in 2011. Among those, about 40 percent, or 270,680 individuals, were people of color – that number continues to grow at an alarming rate. But with scant media attention yet plenty of stereotypes and other presumptions, this sector of the missing population has largely gone under the radar.
Since our inception in 2008, the Black and Missing Foundation (BAM FI), has helped locate or provided closure to the families of more than 100 missing people. We work closely with local law enforcement agencies across the country, the FBI, national media outlets and the families of those missing to help close the attention gap.
BAM FI’s website clearinghouse lists pictures and descriptions of hundreds of missing people from across the country. Recently the site was updated with a tool to help family and friends upload their own videos so they can tell their stories, give details about missing loved ones or just ask for help in locating them.
We have also partnered up with TV One, The Huffington Post, Ebony.com, NewsOne, local news stations, The Washington Post, The Grio, The Michael Baisden Show ‘Missing Child of the Week’ Segment, to highlight missing persons of color.
About Black and Missing Foundation Inc.:
Black and Missing Foundation, Inc (BAMFI) is established as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, by a veteran law enforcement official and public relations specialist, whose mission is to bring awareness to missing persons of color; provide vital resources and tools to missing person’s families and friends; and to provide educational training on personal safety. BAMFI offers a free clearinghouse, which highlights profiles and information on missing persons of color, nationally. Profiles of missing individuals, throughout the nation, as well as news, information, and tips, can be found at BAMFI’s Web site: www.bamfi.org, IG: @blackandmissingfdn, Twitter: @BAM_FI or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bamfiorg.
Photo credit: Naples Daily News