Last November, residents of Missouri City made history by electing the first African American and female as their Mayor—Yolanda Ford. Though officially sworn into office in December, the historic inauguration of Mayor Ford took place on Sunday, February 17 at Thurgood Marshall High School. The packed house was treated to an inauguration like no other, with a live music “opening act” featuring guest student musicians from Willowridge and Marshall high schools. Mistress of Ceremonies, Defender CEO Sonny Messiah Jiles, facilitated the program’s flow that featured remarks from city religious leaders of varying faith traditions, Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, Pastor Remus Wright, and others, including U.S. Congressman Al Green and State Rep. Ron Reynolds. In addition, V. Michael McKay, a two-time Dove Award winner and Gospel Hall of Fame Inductee, directed a Unity Choir that performed several selections, including one featuring Stellar Award winner Kathy Taylor. Moreover, Grammy-nominated and Stellar Award winner Brian Courtney Wilson performed his hit “A Great Work.” As well, several youth groups performed, including the Imani School Choir that led attendees in the singing of the Black National Anthem. Shortly thereafter, award-winning poet Se7en performed one of his works that nearly brought the house down. And still there was more, including the introduction of the guest of honor (Ford) by Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner, who stated that in 183 years his introduction and swearing in of Ford was the first by a Houston mayor at a Missouri City mayor’s inauguration. After the swearing in Mayor Ford finally made it to the podium to address the crowd, speaking on her visionary theme, “Unifying Community and Leadership-An Era of New Vision and Direction.” Those in attendance to witness history included Ft. Bend County Commissioner Grady Prestage, Angelique Bartholomew, Michael Harris, Courtney Johnson Rose, Patricia Williams, Jodie Jiles, Linda K. Brown, Dr. Justin Washington, Diana Waters, Judge Juli Mathew, Cynthia Ginyard, HCC Trustee Neeta Sane, Clarence “Doc” Holliday, FBISD Trustee Addie Heyliga and many more.