The Defender followed up its State of Black Houston with part two of the three-part State of Black series, the State of Black Harris County. This week’s conversation with an influential lawmaker featured Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. State of Black Harris County moderator, Defender CEO Sonceria Messiah Jiles, posed questions to Hidalgo from participants via a real-time chat room. Additionally, Several State of Black community partners offered pre-recorded video questions. These included hard-hitting questions from Juli McShay (NAACP Houston), Sharifat Lawal Price (Greater Houston Black Chamber), Wanda Anderson (National Pan-Hellenic Council Inc. Houston), Jackie Pope (Top Ladies of Distinction), Ray Shackleford (Houston Area Urban League) and Rev. Dr. James Dixon (Houston Metropolitan Baptist Ministerial Alliance). Major sponsors for this virtual event series are Title Sponsor H-E-B, Presenting Sponsor Chevron, and VIP Sponsors Amegy Bank and Cadence Bank. Next up for this series is the State of Black Texas, featuring Governor Greg Abbott. That date is still pending, but as soon as we know, you’ll know. In essence, each State of Black event wants lawmakers to answer the questions: “What have you done for the Black community, and what are you planning to do?” To register for the final installment of these conversations, go to or visit for more info.