Red Sand Project file

Kristin Stratford pours red sand in the cracks of a sidewalk on South Higgins Avenue during a 2018 event to raise awareness of human trafficking. The Red Sand Project focuses attention on the problem of human trafficking.

Two events scheduled in Missoula this week seek to broaden the conversation about human trafficking in Montana and around the world. 

The Red Sand Project, set for Wednesday, has organized events in all 50 states and more than 70 countries around the world, Katharina Warner said in a press release Monday. The Missoula Human Trafficking Task Force has teamed up with Hellgate High School's Vital Voices Club and the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center for the project.

"Filling a sidewalk crack with red sand highlights how many vulnerable children and adults fall through the cracks each year and become victims to modern-day slavery, both around the world and in Montana," said Werner, chair of the Missoula Human Trafficking Task Force. 

On Wednesday, people are invited to visit the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center at 519 S. Higgins Ave. between 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Representatives for U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines will give statements the event at 11:30 a.m.

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"The simple act of placing sand in a crack or posting a photo on social media may seem inconsequential, but small actions can help raise awareness of the issue facing those who are overlooked," the release states.

On Thursday at Imagine Nation Brewing Co., 1151 W. Broadway, beginning at 6 p.m., the Missoula Human Trafficking Task Force will host a panel discussion in the brewery's Taproom Dialogue Series. The panel will include local experts sharing how the issue is tied to Missoula, who is most as risk and what role community members can take to help address human trafficking.

For more information, contact Werner at katharina.werner@mso.umt.edu

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