Discover Without Barriers (DWB), established in 2019, focuses on challenging educators through reflective, transformative, and continuous learning. Through numerous partnerships with public schools, charter schools, and government agencies to develop educational professionals into scholar-practitioners, DWB has delivered leadership development and training for students to discover without barriers.
Through the continued incorporation of students, parents, and community stakeholder voices who have been historically excluded from decision making in P-20 spaces, DWB is currently involved numerous student and community voice projects throughout the state of Michigan.
Dr. Barnett is an educational consultant and an adjunct professor of the Leading for Equity and Justice program at Eastern Michigan University. While rooted in higher education, Dr. Barnett focuses on investigating the possibilities of and barriers to advising through a transformative leadership lens in P-20 education spaces. This investigation occurs through the collection, exploration, and analysis of community voices in both K-12 schools and higher education institutions to inform advising, policy, and practice.
Dr. Barnett has an extensive history of advising student groups and organizations where he assumed the task of developing discerning, inclusive, and transformative student leaders. In his dissertation, "So, what do you do?" Transformative Advising: Re-conceptualizing the Role of Student Government Advisors in Higher Education, he investigated how advisors, supervisors, colleagues, peers, and student leaders perceived the Student Government advisor. Much of his dissertation was based on his experience as the Central Student Government (CSG) Program Manager at the University of Michigan. Over his tenure at U-M, he advised 150+ student leaders cultivating a space where they could grow into active, responsive, and ethical leaders who drove change.
From this research, he developed the transformative advising model, which leverages tenants of transformative leadership, intrusive advising, and critical self-reflection to guide advisors on how to question systemic norms to effect change and become advocates for students shaping more equitable campus environments.