Archive

Red sand in Greensburg to raise awareness of human trafficking | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Red sand in Greensburg to raise awareness of human trafficking

Volunteers grasping bags of red sand carefully poured the contents into the sidewalk cracks along Greensburg’s St. Clair Park on Tuesday.

The scarlet-lined sidewalks will remain until the sand is naturally washed away.

The Red Sand Project is a national initiative designed to raise awareness of modern-day slavery, brought to Greensburg by the Blackburn Center and the Westmoreland County Human Trafficking Task Force.

“We just wanted to raise awareness, make sure that people are aware that human trafficking isn’t just an issue that happens in other countries, it’s not just an issue that happens in inner cities, it’s a local issue. It happens everywhere,” said Jason Slonceski, assistant director of the Westmoreland Children’s Bureau and member of the task force.

Research shows there are as many as 40 million victims of human trafficking in the world, the majority of whom never receive justice, according to the Blackburn Center, a Greensburg organization that supports and protects victims of domestic and sexual violence.

The red sand, scattered in sidewalk cracks, represents people who have “fallen through the cracks” of the justice system, according to the center.

This is the second time the center brought the project to Greensburg.

Last year, the sand was limited to the sidewalks around the county courthouse. This year, it has expanded to Saint Clair Park and the streets around Excela Westmoreland Hospital.

Volunteers started spreading the sand Tuesday. When they finish early next week, they will have distributed about 225 pounds of sand.

Volunteer Brett Baumgartel said he hopes the project reminds people to keep their eyes open and contact authorities if they see suspected human trafficking.

“If something is wrong, or if something doesn’t seem right, report it,” he said.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter @Soolseem.


151505gtrredsand2091218
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Staff from the Blackburn Center apply red sand to the cracks in the sidewalk at St. Clair Park on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 in Greensburg as part of the Red Sand Project, a public art display to raise awareness on human trafficking.
151505gtrredsand1091218
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Volunteers, including Cera Graft, (middle) of Scottdale, fill sidewalk cracks with red sand on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 for the Red Sand Project at the Westmoreland County Courthouse. The event, which is organized by the Blackburn Center, helps raise awareness on human trafficking.
151505gtrredsand6091218
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Brett Baumgartel, of South Park, fills a crack with red sand in the sidewalk at St. Clair Park on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 in Greensburg as part of the Red Sand Project, a public art display to raise awareness on human trafficking. Baumgartel was helping with the project from his organization at the Private Industry Council’s Dads Matter Program, which often gets help from the Blackburn Center on issues of domestic violence.
151505gtrredsand7091218
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Jason Slonceski, assistant director of the Westmoreland County Children’s Bureau, puts red sand in the sidewalk seperations at St. Clair Park on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 in Greensburg as part of the Red Sand Project, a public art display to raise awareness on human trafficking.
151505gtrredsand4091218
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Staff from the Blackburn Center apply red sand to the cracks in the sidewalk at St. Clair Park on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 in Greensburg as part of the Red Sand Project, a public art display to raise awareness on human trafficking.
151505gtrredsand3091218
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Sophia Huang, a foreign exchange student at Greensburg Salem High School, pours sand into sidewalk cracks on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 for the Red Sand Project at the Westmoreland County Courthouse. The event, which is organized by the Blackburn Center, helps raise awareness on human trafficking.
151505gtrredsand5091218
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Shawn Sager, of Mt. Pleasant, pours sand into the cracks on the handicap ramp along the sidewalk on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 for the Red Sand Project at the Westmoreland County Courthouse. Sager came down to pour sand as a member of the Human Services and Social Work Club at Westmoreland County Community College. The event, which is organized by the Blackburn Center, helps raise awareness on human trafficking.
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.