The Defender Network presented Cheers: A Holiday Affair, a night of cuisine representing Houston’s diversity, Branwar’s signature wines and an artistic adventure all with a community flair. Defender CEO Sonny Messiah Jiles and husband Jodie Jiles opened their residence to host the event co-sponsored by the Defender and Branwar Wines’ Wayne Luckett. Chefs on hand included Shakti Baum (Etta’s), Travis Dixon (Fleur de Licious Catering – winner of the “Best Bite of Cheers” contest), Mark Hawkins (Mark Anthony Private Culinary Services), Javani King (JKCO.) and Clyde Jiles. Sweets were provided by Not Jus’ Donuts, while the Chase Jordan Quartet and DJ Donnie Houston offered live music and music from the ones and twos respectively. A surprise guest, gospel recording artist Brian Courtney Wilson, serenaded Sonny Messiah Jiles at the request of Jodie Jiles to celebrate the couple’s anniversary. In addition, a Harambee Art Gallery Exhibit spotlighted artists Charles Washington, Gail Mebane, Robert Riojas III and Vivian Leflore Mora. Proceeds from an art auction will benefit the Blue Triangle. Attendees included Commissioner Rodney Ellis, State Rep. Ron Reynolds, Mary Benton, Tiffany Williams, Dr. Frank North, Jodie Jiles Jr., Margo Williams Hubbard, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Rev. Manson Johnson, Ernest Walker, Connie Cochran, Remington Wiley, Courtney Johnson Rose, Teeba Rose, Trustee Wanda Adams, Kamela Marshall, Uriah Morrow, Niles Dillard, Dr. Antonio Tillis, Barry Barnes, Stephanie Coleman, Jeffrey Boney, Jaimi Canady, Lori LaBrie, Patricia Luckett, L.J. Garfield and many, many more.

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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...

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