The program is the third installment of the State of BLACK series underwritten by title sponsor H-E-B, presenting sponsor Chevron, and V.I.P. sponsors Amegy Bank and Cadence Bank. The other two programs featured Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in the State of BLACK HOUSTON and County Judge Lina Hidalgo in the State of BLACK HARRIS COUNTY.

Adding a new dimension of grassroots community involvement are the six organizations partnering with the Defender Network: NAACP Houston, Houston Area Urban League, Top Ladies of Distinction, Greater Houston Black Chamber, Houston Baptist Ministers Alliance and Pan Hellenic Council of Houston. Each organization will submit pre-recorded questions for elected officials to answer. Expanding the reach and joining in the promotion of the State of BLACK TEXAS is our media sponsor, the Houston Public Media and their radio colleagues across the state, who will broadcast excerpts of the program at a date to be announced during the program.

“The State of BLACK TEXAS program reflects the collaboration of community, media, corporations, and lawmakers joining forces to better inform Black Texans while reinforcing accountability,” said Defender CEO Sonny Messiah Jiles. “This event offers a unique opportunity to zero in on issues that matter to the Black community. We thank our corporate and media sponsors, and applaud the community partners for their involvement.”

The public is welcome to attend the free live stream event by going to the Defender website,, and logging in on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 pm. No registration required.

Wanda Anderson

Pan-Hellenic Council of Houston


Elected officials are elected to speak to our concerns. Tuning into State of BLACK TEXAS gives NPHC Houston and our community partners an opportunity to make our voices heard. It is an important part of the process to create trust between elected officials and our community. 

Lisa Shumate

Houston Public Media

Associate Vice President and General Manager 

“Houston Public Media is proud to partner with The Defender Network, to expand the program’s reach from virtual platform to broadcast audience, following the January 28 live event. Together we can raise awareness and engagement about the most critical issues facing the state of Texas.” 

Carol Guess 

Greater Houston Black Chamber

Interim President 

“Our community needs to hear first-hand how our legislators are handling the most critical issues impacting our community.”