All children matter: Chicago mom joins the movement to #BringBackOurGirls

How do more than 200 girls vanish overnight?

On April 14 more than 200 school-aged girls were stolen from their beds at a school in Chibok, Nigeria. They disappeared into the night in the hands of a terrorist organization that has decided that these young women have no place in a classroom. Instead they should be forced into marriages with strange men.

With every tweet, with every “like,” with every comment, the voices got louder. The message is clear: #BringBackOurGirls.

Slowly American news media began to give airtime to this act of violence against our daughters. In between scouring the internet for information about missing girls of Chibok, I see countless reports of violence against the daughters of Chicago. When people say to me why are we so concerned about the plight of these children when children in our own backyard are in just as much danger, my answer is simple.

They matter.

All children matter.

There are no hashtags for Chicago’s daughters Hadiya Pendleton, Endia Martin or Leonore Draper. There is no international cry to end the violence that has crippled many Chicago communities. But the anger and frustration is the same. Just like the young women in Chibok, the absence of Hadiya, Endia and Leonore has left a void in their families and communities. The world won’t get to see their genius reach its full potential, which could be the same fate of the girls of Chibok.

As a parent, my heart aches for the families who wait for their daughters return. I honestly can’t imagine receiving the news that my child was taken from his bed and is nowhere to be found. At this time we don’t know if the girls are still in Nigeria or if they’ve been taken to neighboring countries. As I write this, the United States government has announced that it will provide assistance to the Nigerian government to aid in the search of these missing girls.

These girls matter.

All of our girls matter.

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