Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Secretary Watson Announces MBAT Summit

JACKSON, Miss. — Secretary of State Michael Watson is pleased to announce a Mississippi Businesses Against Trafficking (MBAT) Summit to be held the afternoon of January 24, 2023, during National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

In collaboration with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI), the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), and the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Center for Human Trafficking Research and Training (CHRT), this live event will be held on the USM campus in Hattiesburg and will include educational information as well as a panel discussion with leading experts around the state and nation.

"We are excited to offer an MBAT Summit for Mississippi businesses to ensure they have the tools and resources needed for educating their employees, customers, and communities to combat human trafficking in our state. I'm extremely grateful for our partners who have helped plan this event tailored specifically to the business community. It truly takes a team effort," said Secretary Michael Watson.

The MBAT Summit is open to all MBAT partners and those interested in learning more about how to combat human trafficking in Mississippi. Attendees must register prior to the event. 

"As co-directors of USM’s Center for Human Trafficking Research and Training, my colleague, Dr. Kim Hogan, and I are thrilled to partner with the Secretary of State’s Office in their effort to bring awareness and resources about anti-human trafficking efforts to Mississippi’s businesses. We welcome the opportunity to highlight what businesses can do to prevent all forms of human trafficking while effectively responding to their customers and clients who are affected by this illegal activity," said Dr.  Tamara Hurst, Associate Professor, USM School of Social Work.

MBAT is a statewide initiative to raise awareness and empower Mississippi businesses to combat human trafficking. It is open to any business, nonprofit organization, or association in the State of Mississippi that is interested in promoting human trafficking awareness both internally and externally. 

Event details:

  • Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2023
  • Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: Joe Paul Theater, 118 College Drive, Hattiesburg, MS 39406
  • Registration Link 

For questions regarding the MBAT Summit, please contact our External Affairs Division at or 601-359-4454.