BRONZEVILLE — A radio documentary series following the cases of Chicago’s missing Black women debuts Monday on WVON-AM 1390.
“The Invisible Ones,” a five-part series hosted by morning anchor Candace McCollum, sheds light on the lives of the missing women and the families still searching for answers. One of the relatives featured is the aunt of Diamond and Tionda Bradley, who disappeared from Bronzeville 20 years ago.
“We talked about the misconceptions about the family, the rumors about [the girls] being off in another state with their father that weren’t true, and just who Diamond and Tionda were as children,” McCollum said. “Their aunt still remembers the last time she saw them.”
McCollum also interviewed activists and advocates working to keep the women’s memories alive, including Roosevelt University professor John Fountain, creator of “Unforgotten 51,” Thomas Hargrove from the Murder Accountability Project and Rep. Bobby Rush, who recently called for a federal task force to bring the women home.
McCollum also explores the city’s human trafficking issues, talking with Dreamcatcher Foundation founder Brenda Myers about her efforts to save young women and girls from a life that nearly killed her. According to the Salt and Light Coalition, a nonprofit that supports sex trafficking survivors, 25,000 women are trafficked each year in Chicago. The majority of them are women of color.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled a multi-agency plan to combat sex trafficking and intimate partner violence in September, outlining a community-based approach to help people most at risk.
McCollum said the Mayor’s Office and the Police Department didn’t respond to her requests for interviews. She said she hopes they can be involved in a future project because “it’s an important piece.”
Families long have been disappointed in how law enforcement has handled the cases, but they believe more involvement from the community could truly help, McCollum said.
“I want people to know that these women mattered. They were someone’s mother, someone’s aunt, someone’s sister,” McCollum said. “We can’t forget that.”
A new segment will debut daily through Friday. Each segment will air four times on its scheduled day at 6:50 a.m., 10:50 a.m., 4:50 p.m. and 7:50 p.m.
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: