Women’s and Gender Students Psi Chi Honor Society, Feminist Alliance & UNICEF Club hosts “The Red Sand Project”


The Red Sand Project was held outside the Karambelas Media and Communication Center on Thursday, Nov. 1.

According to Dr. Jennifer Thomas, a professor of psychology at Wilkes who helped set up this event, the Red Sand Project is a public art project to raise awareness about sex trafficking. It is the third most profitable industry in the entire world.

Each participant was given a bag filled with red sand to pour into cracks on the sidewalk. The cracks are meant to symbolize that the victims of human trafficking often fall through the cracks and are overlooked.

“By pouring sand into the cracks we are hoping to draw awareness to this,” said Thomas.

She hoped people walking past the sidewalk would see what we were doing and ask what their cause was, to bring encourage conversations on the topic.

“It was something so small, just filling in cracks on a sidewalk but it gave a feeling of empowerment,” said Donald Ballou, a first year  student at Wilkes University. “I didn’t really think something like that would make me feel like I made a difference, but when I took a picture of the sidewalk and posted it on social media, I had two friends ask me what the Red Sand Project was about. Once I told them, they were super excited and told me they were going to see if they could get something like that going at their college,”

Dr. Andreea Maierean, a political science professor  mentioned that in the United States, 1.7 million children run away or are forced to leave home every year.

“It’s not only happening in remote, poor countries far away… It happens in the U.S. and it happen much more often than we think,” said Maierean.

The highest rates of trafficking in the U.S. occurs in California, Florida, New York, Ohio and Texas. More than 1.5 million people from 70 countries have joined together to raise awareness to the human trafficking problem throughout the world.

“It made me think more about what Is happening in the world,” said Stefanie Kramer, a first year student at Wilkes university who attended with the women’s basketball team. “I knew that trafficking was happening in the United States but didn’t realize how bad it really was. It was a simple way to bring awareness and I was happy to be a part of it.”

According to a sheet handed out at the event: On average, between 14,500-17,500 people are trafficked into the United States every year. In addition, 40.3 million people are victims of trafficking globally and, it is a $150 billion-dollar industry.

Participants in the Red Sand Project are working to make the stories of human trafficking victims heard. On the sheet that was given out at the event, the were five things listed that you can do in the next ten minutes to help stop trafficking:

“It doesn’t take training to be an activist” said Heather Sincavage, director of the Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University.