Meet Givens Swims collaborator Kenneth Thompson! Kenneth is a parent educator, facilitator, mentor, talk show host on KAZI, and “home-grown” Austinite who grew up around Givens pool. Kenneth served as the Director of the East Austin Youth Foundation, which serves approximately 200 youth providing sports activities while promoting high academic achievement. Kenneth also served on the Pflugerville School Board and on the board of ANewEntry LLC, a program charged with providing counseling and transitional housing to formerly incarcerated men. Kenneth was appointed to the National Advisory Board in 2009 and is an advisor to the Quality Information Center on Non Resident Fathers. He is a former Chair of Austin’s African American Resource Advisory Commission.
Kenneth co-chaired Forklift’s Citizen Advisory Committee for the third year of My Park, My Pool, My City and reflected on this experience:
“I got involved in Givens Swims because this process renews your faith that people from all walks of life — people from all races, all generations — can have some common purpose. That’s what revealed itself in the past Forklift projects I’ve seen, and that’s what has been beautiful about this project. Givens Swims records history in a unique way. As the community and neighborhoods change, one of the things that will be important for future generations is to see some of the history that took place here. I’m excited that Givens Pool is getting some attention and that members of the community are getting some voice in what happens to the pool.”