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City of Jackson Spreads Awareness of Human Trafficking and the Red Sand Project

JACKSON, Tenn. - We’re spreading awareness of human trafficking at the Westwood Recreation Center with the Red Sand project.

The Sisters with Aspiring Goals, better known as S.W.A.G., hosted a Human Trafficking Awareness event in partnership with the City of Jackson and other local organizations, such as WRAP, the Salvation Army, the Scarlet Rope Project, and more.

The event featured a visit from local law enforcement and even music with an ensemble.

People gathered to spread awareness of how human trafficking can happen anywhere to anyone, and especially to the most vulnerable.

“It happens in Tennessee, it happens everywhere, it can happen to anybody, it can happen to me… anybody, any age, it don’t matter the age, it don’t matter nothing. It can happen and some young girls out here they don’t know about it, they need to know about it, boys too. It can happen to boys too.”

Rakaya Bond came to the program to learn how to keep herself and her friends and family safe.

She mentions when it comes to human trafficking, many people overlook how it can happen to males too.

Scarlet Rope Project Executive Director Julanne Stone mentions another common misconception about human trafficking, many victims already knew their trafficker.

“It is not being kidnapped, we’ve worked with multiple survivors of trafficking in this area and none of them were kidnapped by someone they didn’t know, they all knew their trafficker.”

Recreation manager for the City of Jackson Bridgett Parham and S.W.A.G. Director Ella Watkins believe programs like this help inform the community of the truths of human trafficking.

“Working really close with Miss Julanne with Scarlet Rope and WRAP and different other organizations that deal with this, it is very real. It’s very real, and it is right here in our back doorsteps.”

The intention of the Red Sand Project is to get questions asked about human trafficking.

Someone can ask why the red sand is in the cracks outside of the building, and this allows for someone to educate them on the topic.

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