In the past I have discussed abuses of all kinds: against women, men, people of color, LGBTQX and children; among others.
These abuses are the ones that we don’t focus on as much as we should and if we review the numbers, clearly we might ascertain that we have a pandemic of sorts.
Which brings me to my truth!
Recently Dr. Ester Davis contacted me about the need to focus on our Missing Black Girls; many of whom have been trafficked, made sex slaves and even murdered.
I agreed with Dr. Davis and told her that in addition to us highlighting Superb Women, we have begun focusing on the lost and missing in our communities.
Dr. Davis hosted a town hall recently at Club Vivo, in Dallas. “Missing Black Girls” provided a very informed panel that discussed the issue as well as the disparity in media attention when the victim is Black.
Moderated by Cedar Hill School Board Trustee Dr. Keisha Lankford, who is also an expert in a number of areas surrounding crises and healing; the event was emotional at times.
Judge Sandra Jackson, of the 302nd Family District Court, said, “nearly a half a million people have gone missing. Nearly 350,000 children have walked away.”
Citing several dynamics, Judge Jackson said she has toured Dallas and primary sex trafficking areas like hotels, apartment complexes, corporate buildings and in south, east, north and west Dallas.
“The numbers are monumental, she added, as she called on everyone to work together. “Dallas is probably one of the top ranking locations in our state. Someone has to take up the banner and become a voice.”
Dallas County Constable Tracey Gulley – Precinct One talked about the issues she deals with and how she makes it her business to be aware of what is happening, especially since she deals with many issues involving home and school.
Even her daughter realized the emphasis on missing white women in direct contrast to missing Blacks.
Constable Gulley said she has also learned quite a bit from her teen daughter; especially how peer pressure is amplified by social media and the flow of information.
“I had no idea,” said Constable Gulley, as she talked about all the predatory language used in social media. “I thought edibles were the edible arrangements – today teens are focusing on sex smoking weed and edibles. That’s a lot of what is going on in homes and schools.”
And then she dropped a tidbit that caused audience members to gasp, “There are areas in North Dallas where you train to become a prostitute!”
Now the next speaker has made headlines before because she was actually held “captive.”
Tanya Stafford is the founder of, “It’s going to be okay” and she told her story of being taken possession of by her rapist, impregnated three time.
Now she works to save others from the life she lived for more than 10 years.
And she said she needs volunteers: role models and mentors as she challenged everyone to get involved.
She said it’s important also that we look for signs and act.
Ask yourself: “How can you discern when people are being fast, but you can’t discern that they are being molested and raped?
Actually on the OWN show Queen Sugar, there’s a woman who basically asked the same question because the entire town let her down because they just saw a “fast” young girl but they never addressed the pedophile.
Former parole officer, now a truck driver, Beverly Pickens is the founder of The Real Promise. She has done undercover work looking for predators. To hear her candidly addressing those who target young girls and boys, was heart-wrenching.
She is committed and she’s doing the work and like Ms. Stafford, needs support.
And some support will come from legislators like State Rep Carl Sherman, who was in attendance and talked about his work with Rep Reggie Smith of Grayson County, “to get this issue on the front burner so we have equity and concern.”
He encouraged attendees to call and email legislators, “The only people who get things done are those who push for change. Girls need to hear that we care. Make sure legislators are held accountable.
His words were echoed by attorney Kevin Kelley, who was a sponsor of the event, and said, “This is an issue that is going to require support of our friends and family and the entire country.”
We can’t wait for others or criticize others for speaking out about their own. We can be the voice.
Are you ready to raise your voices?