Mayor Chokwe Lumumba presented a proclamation to Jackson State University student advocate Deshayla Jackson recognizing January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, especially with I-20 being an artery for illegal transport.
“Jackson’s placement is ideal for human trafficking with so many interstates to major cities like Memphis, Atlanta and New Orleans. Jackson is a major drop-off and pick-up spot,” Jackson said.
Before accepting the proclamation, several students from the School of Social Work at Jackson State University met with Lumumba. They discussed the prevalence of human trafficking in the Jackson area, the need for community involvement and yearly recognition of human trafficking.
“What really drove my heart to this issue was that Jackson has a huge problem with human trafficking and it’s not being addressed,” said Deshayla Jackson, a senior social work major.
The four students were Jackson, Michael Peterson, Kamri Williams and Niasha Stewart. Leading the initiative were JSU professors Dr. Brian Anderson and Dr. Trenia Allen, both in the School of Social Work in the College of Public Service.
In 2016, President Barack Obama declared January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in hopes of raising awareness of sexual slavery and human trafficking worldwide.