The Defender Media Group in partnership with Kelsey-Seybold Clinic hosted a Conversations & Coffee event featuring Mayor Sylvester Turner. With the Mayor fast approaching the mid-way point of his four-year term, the Defender wanted to have a public conversation with Mayor Turner about the challenges he and the city have faced, the triumphs enjoyed and the direction going forward. Defender publisher Sonny Messiah Jiles interviewed Turner in front of a packed house at the Kingdom Builder’s Center, posing tough questions about the Hurricane Harvey recovery process, future flood prevention efforts, the viability of additional area reservoirs, city finances, minority contracts, educational reform and more. Members of the audience were able to ask their questions of Mayor Turner, as well, who discussed his Complete Communities initiative, his philosophical approach to governance, the challenges and opportunities post-Harvey, his take on protesting professional athletes as well as the Houston Astros’ World Series victory. HISD Board President Wanda Adams was in attendance as well as HCC Board Member Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz. Others in attendance included Stephanie Paige, Darian Ward, Stafford Mayor Pro-Tem A.J. Honore, Dr. Abdul Muhammad, Deric Muhammad, Tiffany Williams, Carl Davis, Arthur Fuller, Dr. Zeb Poindexter III, Anna Barba Poindexter, Kim Davis, Mary Benton, Bertha & Kenneth Hodges, Lorenzo Pace, an entire class from the University of Houston’s African American Studies Program and many more. Special thanks to the Defender team members who attended: Margo Hubbard Williams, Jodie B. Jiles, Aswad Walker and event caterer Clyde Jiles.

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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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