CEO Of Black And Missing Foundation Talks Carlee Russell, Black Women And More

SLUG: PH/BUTLER Washington, DC DATE: 11/17/2009 neg number:

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

Our special guest today is Derrica Wilson, she’s the co-founder and CEO of the Black and Missing Foundation Inc.  

First, tell us what the Black and Missing Foundation is, what compelled you and your sister to create it?

The Black and Missing Foundation is a nonprofit organization that we established in 2008 to bring awareness to missing people of color. My sister-in-law and I wanted to utilize our expertise to help eradicate this issue. I have more than two decades of law enforcement experience, and she has expertise in media and public relations, and those are the two critical professions needed in finding and bringing our missing home. 

While Black women in the U.S. go missing at higher rates than other demographics, cases involving Black women tend to get less media attention. Do you believe that the Carlee Russell story that was in the news will hurt bringing attention to other Black and missing cases? 

You know while we’re disheartened by Carlee’s revelations, we are calling on our community to not let this single incident undermine our efforts to help us find. You know, there are a staggering number of missing people that are currently missing in the country and we need our community to show up because we have seen that we have the power to make our cases a priority.  

Why are Black women going missing at a higher rate than any other ethnic group?

Because folks don’t care. But I think we have to peel back the layers into the systemic issues, human trafficking, mental health, domestic violence. You know, those are some of the reasons why we are seeing it. Then with law enforcement not taking the cases seriously, labeling our children as runaways, or criminalizing our mission. And it really dehumanizes the fact that these are valuable members of our community. 

What final word would you leave us with today? 

We need our community to be our digital milk carton. These families, they need us and they need us to help them bring their loved ones home. So let us continue to move forward on this momentum to make sure that we are providing equality across the board regardless of race, gender and zip code.

For more information about the Black and Missing Foundation, you can log on to or go to


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