Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Secretary Watson Announces MBAT Summit at Jackson State University

JACKSON, Miss – Secretary of State Michael Watson is pleased to announce our next Mississippi Businesses Against Trafficking (MBAT) Summit to be held on April 4, 2023, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on the campus of Jackson State University. 

In collaboration with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI), the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), and the Jackson State University (JSU) Police Department, the upcoming summit will include multiple sessions featuring industry experts.

"We are excited to continue offering in-person training for our Mississippi businesses and organizations. Not only is it about equipping Mississippians with information regarding types of trafficking and warning signs, but ensuring connections are made to the needed and available resources," said Secretary Michael Watson. "We are grateful for all who have joined our fight to combat human trafficking especially Chief (Herman) Horton for making this happen on the Jackson State campus."

Chief Herman Horton, Director of Public Safety at JSU, approached the Secretary of State's Office following the conclusion of the MBAT Summit at the University of Southern Mississippi to ensure JSU became the next host and the first HBCU campus.

"While attending the summit on the USM campus, I witnessed a tremendous amount of support from the faculty, staff, students, community, and law enforcement who all have a vested interest in combatting human trafficking. Hosting a summit on our campus is a great opportunity to spread the word on trafficking and exploitation right here in our community," said Chief Herman Horton.

Speakers for this summit will include Lieutenant Kevin Lavin, JSU criminal justice professor, and Brian Montgomery, father of deceased sextortion victim Walker Montgomery.

Serving as panelists are Dr. Dana Hunter, Executive Director at the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Human Trafficking Prevention, Ashlee Lucas, Mississippi Statewide Human Trafficking Coordinator, Matt Bogue, Vice President Dutch Oil Company/Sprint Mart, and Deputy Helen Brown, CEO at No More Tears. 

To view the full agenda, click here.

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. 

To register for the MBAT Summit, click here.

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. 

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

Click here to download the MBAT logo





Elizabeth Holbert Jonson | 601-927-8688