Students shed light on human trafficking

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Students at Fountain Valley School shed some light on race, class and gender issues on Jan. 27 with their 16th annual Unity Day.

In a school with 240 students from 18 different countries and 26 states, Unity Day at Fountain Valley is all about exploring different cultures and learning about issues affecting the entire world.

“We have people from China and Europe and all over the world, and just being able to incorporate all the diverse cultures that we have here I think is really important,” said Annika Furman, a student at Fountain Valley.

Through activities and workshops students get to discuss things such as human trafficking with the Red Sand Project, which was started by artist and Fountain Valley alum, Molly Gochman.

“Students today had the opportunity to have a Skype session with her and to learn about human trafficking and what she’s doing to make an impact in the world,” said Katherine Keen, director of school counseling at Fountain Valley.

Red sand poured into a sidewalk crack symbolizes those who fall through the cracks of human trafficking.

“I had a general idea of what human trafficking was, but I was not aware that it happens in our own community,” said Furman. “I thought it happened in a lot of third world countries where there wasn’t as much government control and the fact that it can be happening right in my backyard is just a huge impact.”

Unity Day is truly about learning to embrace difference instead of fearing it.

“We are looking at what is happening in the world and just making sure we’re preparing our students for a world that is changing and that we may represent pieces of that but making sure that we all are aware of everything that is out there and how we can be leaders in this world,” said Keen.

January is National Human Trafficking Awareness month and people all over the world are taking part in the Red Sand Project and you can too. Head to and you can get a free red sand project tool kit. All you have to do is fill a sidewalk crack with red sand, take a photograph and share it on social media using #RedSandProject.

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