In Blog: Factually Speaking

My name is Dwayne Barnes and I recently joined the Michigan League for Public Policy as the Community Engagement Specialist for Detroit. Prior to joining the League, I spent five years with The Center for Michigan and Bridge Magazine in several public engagement capacities.

League community engagement specialist Dwayne Barnes with his family.

I helped the Center to amplify Michigan residents’ opinions, concerns and perspectives about statewide public policy to their leaders in Lansing. I facilitated town hall meetings, led listening sessions and moderated panels. I conducted polls, sourced stories and built relationships with stakeholders in the state of Michigan.

My philosophy is centered around access and opportunity. The work is all about helping people help their communities. Having talked to numerous Michiganders, I’ve been fortunate to listen to the hopes and dreams that people have for themselves and their families. Michigan residents want an education that equips people with the skills they need to earn a living. A competitive career that allows hardworking families to buy a home, send their children to college, go on vacation and save for the future. A community that is safe and ripe with opportunities for its residents. A government that is responsive to the needs of its constituents and access to a fast and reliable internet connection just to name a few.

I am an advocate for social and urban policy that allows for hardworking families to live the American dream. I place an emphasis on authentic community engagement and sound policy. On the policy side, I am passionate about workforce issues related to education, skills, talent and the economy. My goal is to empower communities through advocacy, policy and entrepreneurship. I look forward to contributing to and learning from the community.

In addition to my policy work I am a family man. My family recently welcomed a new baby boy into the family, making me a proud father of two sons: Dwayne, 8 years old, and Dylan, the newborn. My wife Doria Barnes is the love of my life and we will be celebrating nine years of marriage in August. I am grateful for a wonderful family, an amazing new job and the chance to positively impact our community.

If you live or work in the Detroit area and would like to connect with the League’s work, you can email me at


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