Peru, IL

Jelani Day Foundation to help combat 'Missing White Woman Syndrome'

Lashaun Turner

A National Foundation aims to support and assist families of missing minorities.
Jelani Day Foundation Logo-:Jelani Day Foundation Facebook-:

Jelani Day

Jelani Day, a black Illinois State University student, was reported missing by his mother, Ms. Carmen Bolden-Day in August of 2021. Bolden-Day would go on to criticize the lack of urgency and support she felt the police exhibited in looking for her son.

Mortified by the lack of urgency and no support from the police, Ms. Bolden-Day and family instantly went into action creating a novice search team and a multi-site search effort. Ms. Bolden-Day organized and conducted the first of four search parties. -Jelani Day Foundation
Jelani Day-::Justice for Jelani Day Facebook Page-:

In comparison, at the time of Jelani’s disappearance there was another missing person getting national attention. The case of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old white female, dominated social media and the news cycle for weeks until and even after the discovery of her remains in September 2021. Local, State and Federal officers were involved in her search soon after she was reported missing.
Gabby Petito-:Wikipedia-Fair Use

I’ve experienced the most unbearable pain that I don’t wish on any mother. My black educated son was missing for 30 days and received hardly no media coverage or assistance from the FBI. But when a young white girl went missing for 48 hour she received nationwide coverage and help from the FBI.- Carmen Bolden-Day

Missing White Woman Syndrome

Jelani’s mother’s went on to say she felt there was a racial disparity with authorities response in searching for Jelani sparking conversations about a phenomenon known as “Missing White Woman Syndrome”.

Missing white woman syndrome is a term which is used by social scientists and media commentators in reference to the media coverage, especially on television, of missing-person cases involving young, white, upper middle-class women or girls compared to the relative lack of attention towards missing women who were not white, of lower social classes, or of missing men or boys- Wikipedia

Jelani Day’s Death

Jelani’s body was discovered on September 4, 2021, in the Illinois River in Peru, Illinois, and positively identified on September 23, 2021. His death was ruled as a drowning. However, Bolden-Day disputes that conclusion and told WGLT that her son was an avid swimmer and claimed the investigation findings were suspicious.

My son’s car, wallet, clothing, phone, and body were found in five separate locations. His murderers are still free and we’re losing confidence in local authorities as they never made Jelani ‘s disappearance a priority-Carmen Bolden-Day

Jelani Day missing persons bill signed into law

Jelani Day Foundation (JDF) launched in August 2022

According to it’s website, the Jelani Day Foundation will provide financial, emotional, and professional resources for families of color navigating dealing with a missing person.

JDF will provide:

  • Vital financial resources to help conduct searches
  • Professional consultation to help families engage with law enforcement
  • Accurate and timely information for media outlets for coverage and assistance
  • Resources for therapeutic services
JDF plans to bridge the gap of disparity for those at-risk of systemic racial bias and discrimination during the process of their search. - JDF

For more information visit Jelani Day Foundation.

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Lashaun is a Journalist, Reporter, and Viral Content Creator covering Local Stories, Food, Crime, Politics, & Travel with NEWSBREAK since June 2021.- JADED: Journalism with a Touch of Shade is Lashaun's views and opinions on various trending topics. Lashaun aka Lady I.M.PRE$S is a former NBC/CNBC Affiliate KCAA Broadcaster for "Cali's BEST" Radio Show airing on 102.3FM & 106.5FM from 2016-2020. Lashaun has been in the Media & P.R field for over 11 years and has interviewed an estimated 20k Celebrities and Entrepreneurs. Lashaun also produced & hosted Blaze Indie L.A TV show on LA's Channel 36 from 2014-2016

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