Culture / Newsy

CoolxDad Gets Houston Moms Involved, Expands the Message to New Orleans and Keeps Marching Towards a Better Future

This Unique Grassroots Effort Empowers Fathers

BY // 08.16.23
photography William Issac

When 20 fathers gathered at Kulture in Downtown Houston for a special double dip — a joint Father’s Day brunch and Juneteenth celebration — it was an example of what CoolxDad is all about. The nonprofit focused on fathers of color is hosting another big event on Saturday, August 26 with its Million Fathers March.

The earlier afternoon recognized male leaders and father figures, particularly those in Houston’s African-American community. CoolxDad brings fathers together to discuss their goals and accomplishments.

On the menu? Appetizers of au greens, black bean hummus, dashi braised cabbage, creole mussels and grilled cauliflower steak. These were followed by shared entrees including brick airline chicken, pork chops, fish and butternut squash ravioli. With it all topped off with bread pudding for dessert. The hearty meal was paired with cocktails from D’USSÉ VSOP and concluded with a toast of D’USSÉ XO. 

“The Father’s Day Brunch is special because it’s truly a moment for us to reflect on the successes we’ve had as fathers,” CoolxDad founder Kevin Barnett tells PaperCity. “That moment empowers us to keep rising to every challenge in fatherhood, our careers and in life.” 

CoolxDad came together in Houston at Kulture. (Photo by William Issac)
CoolxDad came together in Houston at Kulture. (Photo by William Issac)

CoolxDad Takes Its Message to New Orleans

As part of their Knights Table programming, CoolxDad hosts regular get-togethers for men of color. One of its celebrations of fatherhood centered around an invite-only Knight’s Table cocktail reception held before the Essence Festival of Culture’s Trailblazer Awards Ceremony at Hotel Saint Vincent in New Orleans. 

CoolxDad partnered with LVMH, Amazon and Moet Hennessy for the exclusive dinner, where fathers and male leaders in the community gathered to set some future goals.

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“More safe spaces like this are needed for men to speak openly and freely while connecting with other dope dads,” says event attendee Steve Canal, the co-founder of FLOURYSH and ONE Venture Group.

PC Seen: LVMH diversity, equity and inclusion head Corey Smith; Dee Sonaram, VP of promotion at 300 Entertainment, former New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster; JET president Daylon Goff; and Aulston Taylor, the president and CEO of St. Augustine High School

CoolxDad founder Kevin Barnett addresses the crowd at the Knight's Table cocktail reception. (Photo by William Issac)
CoolxDad founder Kevin Barnett addresses the crowd at the Knight’s Table cocktail reception. (Photo by William Issac)

CoolxMoms Joins the Conversation

It’s not just for dads anymore. The nonprofit also hosted a CoolxMom Round Table Talk at Houston’s ART IS BOND gallery. Janice Bond, the gallery owner and a CoolxDad board member, served as facilitator. 

Kindred Stories Bookstore owner Terri Hamm, author and consultant Danielle Fanfair, and Midway senior vice president Lacee Jacobs-Barnett spoke on a panel about the realities of being a parent while balancing careers. 

“CoolxDad wouldn’t exist without CoolxMoms,” Barnett says. “They motivate us to be better men, partners and fathers. And more active members of our community. We hope we can do the same for them.” 

To watch the full CoolxMom Round Table Talk, click here and here.

To learn more about CoolxDad and its mission, go here.

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