By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Red sand

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Health and community partners across the state join together for the third consecutive year to participate in the Red Sand Project during Human Trafficking Awareness Week, recognized July 26-31, 2021.



The Red Sand Project is a participatory art installment designed to shed light on human trafficking. The red sand is used to draw  attention to the human  trafficking victims that fall through the cracks of our society every day. Although Tennessee has been nationally acknowledged  for  our  continuous efforts and improvements, human  trafficking continues to remain  a major  public  health concern  in  our  communities. In  2019, the  National Human Trafficking   Hotline  identified  11,500  trafficking  situations,  with  180  cases  reported  in Tennessee.



Counties across the state will be participating in the Red Sand Project by pouring  natural, non- toxic red sand in sidewalk cracks, creating yard signs, and many other creative demonstrations throughout their communities. To find a Red Sand Project event near you, please reach out to your local health department or visit your local Welcome Center.


“Addressing human trafficking is a priority in Tennessee,” said Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner  Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “It  is important we raise  awareness  of  human trafficking through initiatives such as this because victims can experience  significant trauma that has lasting impacts on them and their families.”


According  to the Tennessee Bureau  of  Investigation, human  trafficking is a demand-driven crime that involves exploiting a person for labor, services, or commercial  sex acts, particularly targeting women  and children.  Human  Trafficking  is also one of the fastest growing  criminal industries  in the country, with cases reported in all 50 states.


“Human trafficking must be stopped,” said Tennessee Department of Health Family Health and Wellness Division  Deputy Medical Director Denise Werner, MD.   “By increasing  awareness of this hidden crime that can happen in our own communities Tennesseans can make a difference in the lives of victims of human trafficking.”


If you know  someone  who  needs help  to escape trafficking,  contact the Tennessee Human

Trafficking Hotline at 1-855-558-6484.


If you suspect you have come  into contact with a victim of human  trafficking,  you may call the National  Human   Trafficking  Hotline at 1-888-373-7888  or  text 233722.  Hotline  staff members   will   identify  resources   in  your   community.  For  more   information  on  human trafficking and the hotline, visit


Learn more about the Red Sand Project at