CoolxDad Ends 2022 Strong
By Kevin Barnett
The year 2022 was major for CoolxDad.
After two years, our mission as an organization has never been clearer. Our members, leadership, volunteers, and supporters have worked hard to meet our vision and live out our purpose through direct service to families, fathers, and children. Every step we took together in 2022 served to strengthen our community and build our impact.
CoolxDad is no longer taking baby steps. We’re growing up.
Here’s a recap of some of 2022’s most memorable moments, including events, initiatives, recognition, and milestones.
IN 2022, WE…
MADE FRIDAYS COOLER
We launched CoolxFridays this year, inviting the musicians in our network to curate playlists that dropped every Friday, along with #BeACoolDad Q&As with the DJ dads who made the mixes.
Shout out to DJ Big Ra, DJ THE ARE, Ichikara Valdez, DJ SoulOne, and 9th Sage!
Listen to every CoolxFriday playlist here.
MADE MAGIC WITH OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS
CoolxDad and the Montrose Collective partnered for the very first Open Source Community Conversation. The afternoon of learning and celebrating featured mental health and wellness speakers, panels on the arts and fatherhood, food, drinks, good music, and more, all free to the community.
A huge win for us in 2022.
CONTINUED THE EDUCATION
Financial Coach Kensley Dougan and leadership coach John Marshall brought their workshops back to our virtual space, teaching us how to manage our money — to develop generational wealth — and manage our wellness, to develop generational health.
We also celebrated another CoolxHistory month in February, using our social media to spotlight Black visionaries.
HOSTED A BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT & SKILLS CLINIC
On June 24 and 25, we brought fathers and sons together on the court at the Sunnyside Community Center. The inaugural CoolxDad Father’s Day Basketball skills clinic and the tournament powered by Nike were both huge successes.
BROUGHT BACK BORN A STAR FEST
For the second year in a row, we hosted the Born A Star Festival powered by Comcast and featuring all the best and brightest: AJ The Great, Keith Jacobs, The Biggest Brandon, Jay Kell & the .wavs crew, and DJ A.D. Wright.
This year’s festival took place at Mo’ Better Brews, a business we have been proud to partner with many times throughout the last year and look forward to growing alongside in the future. Support local in 2023!
CELEBRATED FATHERHOOD IN JUNE
June was our celebration of fatherhood month, which included bringing the community together in Sunnyside for the CoolxDad Basketball Association League.
We were honored to host programming in Sunnyside, home to the oldest African-American community in south central Houston, this year. The history of this neighborhood is pivotal to the history of this city.
GATHERED AROUND KNIGHT’S TABLE
We met at Knight’s Table a few times this year, but maybe the most memorable evening was our June dinner in honor of Father’s Day and Juneteenth.
Knight’s Table dinners are about us, the CoolxDad members. They are a time for us to reconnect, refocus, and remember why we created this intentional community to begin with. The food, drinks, and atmosphere are always top-tier. We look forward to sharing meals together many more times in 2023.
Read the Paper City write-up on our June Knight’s Table event.
BROUGHT ON MORE COOLXDADS
PARTNERED WITH THE HOUSTON ROCKETS
Kevin talked fatherhood with Stephen Silas, Jae’Sean Tate, and Josh Christopher for our Father’s Day special in partnership with SLAM.
Read the full SLAM write-up here.
WELCOMED THE KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL
We took part in the Million Father March Aug. 22 to welcome the students of Blackshear Elementary back to school.
COLLECTED 650 GIFTS + SNAPPED FREE FAMILY PORTRAITS
Your donations and support made Color Box 2022 our most impactful gift drive yet. We collected 650 gifts for 500 families in the Project Row Houses community and we were able to host another #FromUsToYou free holiday portrait session.
We ended the year right!
MADE THE NEWSIt’s not why we do the work, but we did get a little attention in 2022. Read up:
- Houston Chronicle ‘Most Fascinating Houstonians’
- Paper City Magazine Land Rover Defender Service Awards recognition
- Houstonia Magazine profile
- SLAM + the Houston Rockets
“Our community is the dopest, I’m truly appreciative that so many people have welcomed CoolxDad and me into your spaces.
2023, I’m writing you with my heart in my hand. I pray and ask that you bring abundant joy to my family, community, and to CoolxDad. We’re motivated, rejuvenated, and determined to amplify our mission and create more intentional spaces.
2022 taught me a life lesson: bet on yourself. The house never loses. SEE US IN REAL-TIME!”
- Kevin Barnett