Red Sand Project 2021

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Making the vulnerable visible.


In observance of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on Friday, July 30th, McMinn County is joining groups all across Tennessee to participate in the Red Sand Project, which sheds light on the issue of human trafficking and the vulnerabilities which can cause people to “fall through the cracks” and become victims.

We invite you to participate by joining us on Courthouse Square in downtown Athens anytime between 10AM-2PM on July 30th, or choosing a spot in the community to pour red sand in the cracks of pavement, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots across McMinn County.

We will be providing red sand packets for anyone interested in participating in this project. These packets will contain a bag of sand, a piece of chalk, information on the Red Sand Project, and instructions for pouring sand throughout the community. Packets can be picked up at the following locations from July 26-30:

· Full Circle Medical Center for Women

· Blue Front Coffee Co.

· New Attitude

Join our Facebook event to stay updated. For more information about how to participate, or to partner as a designated pickup location, email

Ideas for pouring sand within your community:

· Pour sand near the entrance to your neighborhood or on sidewalks where many passing cars will notice. Invite neighbors to join in.

· Look for highly foot-trafficked areas like parks, greenways, shopping centers, or other public property. When in doubt, ask permission first.

· Involve your whole family—this is a great activity for kids.

· You are welcome to create art with your sand, such as writing out one of our hashtags. You may also use chalk to write messages on the pavement alongside your sand.

· IMPORTANT: Make sure to document your sand with photos, and post pictures to social media using the following hashtags: #RedSandTN and #ItHasToStop and tagging @OneLifeTN and @TNDeptofHealth.

About Red Sand Project

"Red Sand Project is a participatory artwork that uses sidewalk interventions and earthwork installations to create opportunities for people to question, connect, and take action against vulnerabilities that can lead to human trafficking and exploitation."

Molly Gochman first launched Red Sand Project in 2014, after realizing the depths to which slavery continues to be a contemporary reality. Globally, an estimated 40.3 million individuals live in slavery, whether in forced marriages, forced labor, or for sexual exploitation. Molly recognized that to begin finding a solution to such a widespread challenge, increased public awareness and engagement would be essential. She initiated the first Red Sand Project action in Miami, where she filled the cracks of sidewalks in and around the Art Basel Miami Beach pavilion with red sand. 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." (Taken from


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