It was inspired by a missing woman. In 2004, 24-year-old Tamika Huston vanished from her home in Spartanburg, SC. It wasn’t widespread news coverage of the case that caught Natalie and Derrica Wilson’s attention. Just the opposite – the fact that the case received such little media attention inspired them to act. The sister-in-law duo decided to put their professional expertise in public relations and law enforcement to work to launch the Black & Missing Foundation, Inc (BAMFI).
With more than 240,000 people of color reported missing every year, thousands of people like Tamika Huston are never given a voice, platform or visibility to be found. Although media coverage has historically focused on blonde, blue-eyed female victims, more than 40% of all those missing in the U.S. are people of color. That’s why BAMFI is grounded in a mission to bring awareness to missing people of color, to educate the minority community on personal safety, and to provide vital resources to their family and friends. BAMFI also utilizes a variety of media platforms including print, television, radio and social media to help locate missing persons. Natalie and Derrica’s work is helping to level the playing field so that more cases of missing persons of color can be solved.
For close to 14 years, we have been sounding the alarm on the issue of missing persons of color around the country. This recognition not only puts a spotlight on our tireless efforts, but highlights this issue on a national level. It allows us to continue to support families desperately searching for their missing loved ones through renewed awareness and financial support.