Red Sand Project in Antioch highlights problem of human trafficking

Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks paints red sand into a sidewalk groove at Prewett Park as Councilwoman and event organizer Monica Wilson watches, on Oct. 19, 2017. Photo by City of Antioch

By John Crowder

The Red Sand Project, a participatory art program meant to raise awareness about human trafficking, came to Antioch on Thursday, October 19.

Spearheaded by Antioch City Council Member Monica Wilson, working in conjunction with City Manager Ron Bernal and Police Chief Tammany Brooks, the event brought Antioch residents together to learn more about the plight of those subject to both labor trafficking and sex trafficking.  The participatory part of the event had people placing red sand in sidewalk cracks in and around the Antioch Community Center and Antioch Water Park at Prewett Park, signifying the idea that, too often, those subjected to this form of human slavery are unnoticed, and ‘fall through the cracks.’

Following the art program, a free training, led by Alex Madsen of the Contra Costa Human Trafficking Coalition, was provided to residents in the Antioch Community Center.

Wilson introduced the training.  She noted that human trafficking was a problem that occurred throughout the State and County, and was also present in Antioch.  She was followed by Bernal and Brooks, both addressing their support for raising awareness of the issue.

Madsen explained to those present that human trafficking falls into two broad categories, labor trafficking and sex trafficking.  Interspersing her talk with short video clips highlighting the abuses suffered by those subjected to human trafficking, she discussed key indicator signs to look for to help identify someone caught up in trafficking.  Some things to watch for, she said, were an individual not free to come and go as he/she wishes, someone living and working in the same location and unfamiliar with their surroundings, with a large debt, not in control of their own money, and working long and/or unusual hours.

Madsen encouraged anyone who suspects someone is caught up in human trafficking to act, not by confrontation, but by reporting suspicious circumstances.  Reports can be made by calling 211, calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, or going online to www.traffickingresourcecenter.org/report-trafficking.

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One Comment to “Red Sand Project in Antioch highlights problem of human trafficking”

  1. RJB says:

    How about highlighting the problems of having so few officers and a ridiculous amount of crime? What is it now, at least one shooting per week?

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