Representative Ruth Richardson (DFL-Mendota Heights) has called on the House Public Safety and Finance Committee to establish an “Office for Missing Girls and Murdered Black Women and Girls.”
Comprising of law-makers, members of local law enforcement, civil rights activists, health and public safety officials, theMissing and Murdered African American Women Task Force (MMAAF) was established in 2021 by the Minnesota Legislature and coordinated by the Department of Public Safety.
The MMAAF submitted a report in December 2022 that showed endemic system racism adversely impacts the lives of Black women in Minnesota. The Task Force was described by Gov. Tim Walz as a “first-in-the-nation initiative to examine the systemic causes of violence against African American women and girls,” which aimed to support, protect and heal communities “with better data and increased awareness.”
Some notable findings of the Task Force Report are astounding:
- Black Women are nearly three times more likely to be murdered than white women.
- Missing Persons cases involving Black Women are likely to linger on four times longer than case of white women.
- Black women make up only 7% of the total population of the state of Minnesota but account for an alarming 40% total cases of domestic violence.
- Maternal Mortality rate for Black mother is 2.3 times higher than that of white women.
- Black women face higher eviction rates than white women.
- Minnesota, one of the wealthiest states in the U.S. is also home to one of the worst health disparities in the nation.
The MMAAF submitted its recommendations to the House, which include introduction of anti-racist training for professionals, hiring more Black staff in public offices, increasing access to services, and most importantly, the creation of an official Missing and Murdered African American Women Office.
“We must do better, we can do better, and Black women and girls deserve better. “Behind these numbers are real people and real families that are devastated,”
In view of the recommendations of the MMAAF report, representative Ruth Richardson (DFL-Mendota Heights) has called on the House to establish an “Office for Missing Girls and Murdered Black Women and Girl in a HF55 to the House Public Safety Finance and Police Committee.
“We must do better, we can do better, and Black women and girls deserve better,” she told the House. “Behind these numbers are real people and real families that are devastated,” the Representative added.