Two UMW students using red sand to fill sidewalk cracks

Human Trafficking Awareness Month Event Held at UMW

by | Jan 27, 2017 | Schools & Education

By Susan Larson. Photos provided by RCASA.

The Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault (RCASA), the Central Virginia Justice Initiative (CVJI), and the University of Mary Washington partnered to bring the Red Sand Project to Fredericksburg on January 26, 2017.

“This is an awareness event where red sand is used to fill the cracks on streets and sidewalks as a symbol of the people who are falling through the cracks of human trafficking,” said Geraldy Cespedes, RCASA prevention education coordinator.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

The Red Sand Project was created by New York City-based experiential artist and activist Molly Gochman, to raise awareness of human trafficking — modern-day slavery.

“Through my work as a sexual assault victims advocate, I have seen that human trafficking and sex trafficking are in fact a problem in this area, yet not many people are aware of this,” Cespedes said. “With dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble, it’s easier for predators to target young adults,” she said.

The Fredericksburg Red Sand Project event was held outside of Lee Hall at the University of Mary Washington. “We had 300 bags of sand available, and we encouraged everyone to pour the sand either on campus or throughout the community, take photos, and post them on social media with the hash tags #RedSandProject, #RCASA, #UMW, and #CVJI.

Thrilled I had the opportunity to participate in this movement today. #RedSandProject #MyMaryWash pic.twitter.com/7c59LAHlmI— EmmaFrances (@efmoran3) January 26, 2017

(L to R) Marissa Miller, UMW Coordinator for Prevention and Advocacy; Terri Giller, RCASA Clinical Services Coordinator and Art Therapist; Kathleen Lewis, CVJI Director of Communications; Christina Berben, RCASA Executive Director; Geraldy Cespedes, RCASA Prevention Education Coordinator; Michelle Trampe, CVJI Executive Director; Jessica Visone, RCASA Crisis Responder; Meg Bohmke, Vice Chairman for the Stafford County Board of Supervisors and a RCASA Board Member.

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