Lauren Zoe, K-Rino and Jo-Jo Dancer
Lauren Zoe, K-Rino and Jo-Jo Dancer

The Community Central Channel had the awesome opportunity to spotlight individuals and organizations making a difference in Houston and beyond. Here are the Top 10 most appreciated spotlights according to you, our faithful Defender readers.

Quanell X. Screenshot.

#10: Quanell X on claim he owes $385K for advocacy not rendered – While appearing on KTSU’s “Impact Houston Live,” Defender reporters interviewed local activist Quanell X to get his take on allegations that he owed $385K for advocacy not rendered.  

Taylor Polidore

#9: Spotlight: Taylor Polidore, hometown rising star – We had a great time interviewing rising star Taylor Polidore, a talented, grounded young sister with a go-getter’s spirit. And she is certainly getting it, as in getting more and more roles to add to her already impressive resume. Go ‘head young lady.

LaShunda Walker

#8: LaShunda Walker: Cancer survivor 40 times over – LaShunda Walker faced the most dire and challenging of health challenges with courage and a smile. Her light shown bright for aall the world to see. Though she succumbed to the disease eventually, she left an indelible mark on all with whom she came in contact—and that includes the many Defender readers who let us know how much her story meant to them personally.

Deniz Lopez and Risky Cereal. Photo courtesy of All Real Radio.

#7: All Real Radio: Elevating the power of ownership and space for our voices – The good people at All Real Radio were not the only ones diggin’ on the Defender spotlight that shed light on the good work they’re doing. Plenty of visitors said they appreciated learning about a community resource many had not heard of before our article.

Burial mask of King Tutankhamen (King Tut). AP Photo Amr Nabil

#6: State of African American Studies – Apparently, I’m not alone in appreciating African-American (Pan-African, Black, Africana) Studies. You Defender readers really showed your love for the two articles we wrote on the subject: one focusing on African-American Studies in local high schools and the other focusing on AAS programs and departments in Greater Houston Area colleges and universities.

Getty Images.

#5: ‘Crown Act Conversation’ to end hair discrimination – Though countless sisters showed their love for our focus on the CROWN Act and what’s happening with it on the local level, many brothers also shouted us out for the coverage of a topic that impacts us all.

Pastor Rudy Rasmus, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Pastor Juanita Rasmus. Photo by Aswad Walker.

#4: Pastors Rudy & Juanita Rasmus: 30 yrs at St. John’s Downtown – The beloved pastor duo celebrated their 30th anniversary of powerful, life-changing ministry in 2022, and the love was flowing from all directions. From members to elected officials to ministers who got their start at St. John’s to celebrity cameos, the event was heartwarming, yet served as a precursor to even greater things to come for the community-serving congregation.

Independence Heights mural

#3: Independence Heights: Texas’ first Black City – This piece of Houston history (Texas and US history too) deserves the spotlight. And who will tell our story, if not us.

Lauren Zoe, K-Rino and Jo-Jo Dancer

#2: Local Artists You Need to Know – This series of articles was by far one of the most popular, most read and most shared articles by you, our website visitors. And thanks for the suggestions on which articles to spotlight. Houston has an incredible amount of artists doing big things. Please keep your suggestions for future artists to spotlight coming our way.

Front row kneeling, Rodney Brown (QB). Back row from left to right, Terry Rose (RB), Thurman Thomas (RB) and Ron Garner (RB). Photo taken Dec. 18, 1982 after Willowridge defeated Corsicana for the Texas 4A state championship.

#1: Willowridge celebrates ’82 football state championship season – This one was a no-brainer for the number one spot. “Class and Character,” the Willowridge High School motto, always rules!

Aswad Walker

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...