California Governor, Gavin Newsom has signed a new bill into law. The Ebony Alert will specifically focus on missing Black children and women.
The Ebony Alert will work similarly to an Amber Alert. For an Amber Alert, when a child is deemed missing, authorities are able to turn on alerts via highway billboards and mass cell phone messages about the missing child. The Ebony Alert, the first of its kind in the nation, will be the same, however, it will be solely for Black youth between the ages of 12-25.
“California is taking bold and needed action to locate missing Black children and Black women in California,” said state Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, in a statement announcing the bill signing. Sen. Bradford authored the bill. He introduced the legislation earlier in the year.
Bradford hopes the new mechanism will actively motivate media outlets to publicize lost adolescents and women of color. According to the Black and Missing Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about missing people of color, nearly four in 10 missing children in the country are Black. Approximately the same percentage of sex trafficking victims are Black women, as reported by the foundation.
“The Ebony Alert can change this,” Bradford said. He added that “vital resources and information are given so we can bring home missing Black children and women in the same way we search for any missing child and missing person.
The new initiative is slated to become law on Jan. 1.