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Worldwide Red Sand Project to Honor Human Trafficking Suriviors Comes to Memphis

On July 30, 2020 at 8:30 am, Restore Corps and community partners are taking to the streets to raise awareness for human trafficking with Red Sand Project. Restore Corps will host a community sand pouring in Memphis, at 1290 Lamar Avenue, in the Fred’s parking lot, on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

Red Sand Project is a nation wide art project started by artist Molly Gochman in 2014. For Gochman, “the approach was symbolic, with the grains of sand representing those individuals who fall through the cracks—whether the cracks of our social, economic, and political systems or those of our personal consciousness” Restore Corps is working with the Memphis community to create a slave free world. 

Today, people participate in Red Sand Project from all 50 states and 70 countries, including a total of over 1,000,000 participants. Participants can receive their own bag of sand, and work to fill cracks and gaps in sidewalks and streets with this sand. After filling a crack, take a picture and tag #redsandTN and #ithastostop. These filled cracks represent our community taking action to protect against vulnerabilities that can lead to human trafficking and exploation--they represent everyone working together to ensure there are no cracks for people to fall through. 

Restore Corps has ramped up efforts in this second annual Red Sand Project Tennessee so that people who are walking, driving, or riding down a street will stop and notice the world around them, and feel compelled to research further into the meaning of this project. 

Executive Director Rachel Haaga hopes to remind everyone that "Red Sand Project is more than just a way to reach the community, it truly is an art piece. In filling the cracks of sidewalks with Red Sand, we are giving them a kind of vibrancy and beauty, restoring them to a potential that was there all along. This is a tribute to all of the resilient survivors we know today and have known over the years, who fight daily to show the world that beauty comes from unexpected places." The art piece can be seen throughout Memphis until the sand fades. 

Community partners participating in Red Sand Project include District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich's office, Memphis Area Legal Services, Huey’s, Sister Reach, Kovae House, Ark Farms, Thistle & Bee, Methodist North Hospital Emergency Department, Memphis Fire, Restoration Church, Hope Church, The University of Memphis School of Social Work Instructor Mary Harris MSSW, LMSW, Mrs. Recina Coles, Domeneik Harris, EdD, Crime Victims & Rape Crisis Center, A Way Out Ministries and The Women's Advocacy Center. Each of these partners has been prepared with bags of sand and is committed to helping fill the sidewalks in Memphis with Red Sand as they happen upon cracks.

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