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Faces of Kingston: Frank Waters

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What organization(s) are you involved with in Kingston and what is your role?

I am the co-founder and Executive Director of MyKingstonKids.


Where do you go in Kingston to recharge?

Believe it or not I go to Stewart’s on Albany Avenue for a cup of coffee and sit outside alone and watch the cars drive by.


What is the biggest challenge facing Kingston?

Gentrification


What is the most woke thing Kingston could do?

To create a housing court for tenants to obtain assistance when they have challenges with landlords.


Where is your favorite place to go in Kingston for a bite or a beer? What do you like about it?

My favorite is Ruby Mae’s Soul Food Restaurant. Latoya Flood and her mom are amazing people and they truly care about our community. Plus they're food is delicious and everything is cooked to perfection.


Why does your organization’s work matter?

MyKingstonKids provides opportunities for families to stay informed about activities and events for their children. This matters because without it people may miss the chance for their kids to participate in new experiences and meaningful community engagement.


What challenges/pain points does your organization face?

The main challenge is to continue to raise enough funds to accommodate the events, activities, and programs we want to produce and share with the community.


What is one service/offering/event your organization offers that the community might not know about?

We produce a bi-monthly hardcopy magazine called the MyKingstonKids Club Guide. The guide has family friendly event listing from various organizations within Kingston and its surrounding areas.


Why do you love living in Kingston?

It's all about the people! Their kindness, enthusiasm, and love of community is what keeps me here.


If you could change one single thing about the city, what would it be?

To have the Kingston City School District make it easier for community organizations to partner and participate with the schools.


Where do you see Kingston in five years?

Much more receptive to the Midtown area, people of color in more prominent positions, and Radio Kingston being a household name.


Where do you see the Pine Street African Burial Ground in 5 years?

As a sacred site that the community cherishes and an official educational location and museum for schools and colleges close and far.


Tell me why history and in particular black history important?

Because we can't move forward as a unified country without knowing our past especially the wrongs that were done in regards to blacks history. Learning our history should prevent us from making the same mistakes and provide the opportunity for African Americans to have a rectified way of life.


How did you meet Tyrone Wilson?

Odell Winfeild introduced me to Tyrone right before my very first KidsFest event three years ago. From that first conversation, we connected and became friends and then community partners.


You and your wife are involved in several different organizations, tell me about working together for a better Kingston and world?

Working with my wife Shaniqua is an honor and a necessity. I don't make a move without her and vice versa. She's my ultimate support system and lifelong team member. Having this bond keeps us grounded, active, and constantly improving ourselves so that we can share and participate to inspire and improve the lives of others in Kingston and the world.

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