Get to know Kevin
I’m Kevin Barnett, founder/director of CoolxDad, and I'm originally from New York City — Brooklyn, to be exact. My history and my today are all about working to make something better for myself and my family. That's what CoolxDad is all about.
I grew up fast. As the child of a single mother, living in a single-parent household, I knew early what I didn’t want to come of my life, namely because I didn’t have my dad in the house. Sure, we’d talk from time to time, and he’d tell me that he was going to come for me, but oftentimes, I was left alone, waiting. And, I knew my mom seeing me in pain was enough to make her feel worse about all of the broken promises, so I masked my truest and deepest feelings. Stoic, stone-faced, I didn’t let on that those missed times when I wanted him to come and spend time with me affected me much at all. But, I wanted my father. I wanted my dad.
I made it out into the world, though. I went to school, college, graduated, and made something of myself. I held good jobs, made good relationships with friends and VIPs, and ended up developing the kind of grit that comes from making some way out of what felt like no way. I became an entrepreneur and worked with some of the most esteemed clients in the entertainment business. My work took me from New York to Atlanta and to Houston, but in my journey along those stops, I was still searching for peace and reconciliation in my life. I still wanted to have union with my father.
Soon, I found the woman who would become the love of my life. I became a father and a husband, and my entire world changed drastically. I found that I could start having the conversations about how I felt and what I wanted out of life. I could be vulnerable. I could explore the factors in my life that had informed who I was. I began to see that all the things that I was pursuing, in the end, led me back to the desire to provide for my family. My family, I decided, would always have each other and always know that they were loved and have their needs abundantly met, both materially and immaterially. Thanks to conversations with my wife, I learned to look reality square in the face and see where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do next.
In 2020, at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, during a global pandemic, and in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, all of this coalesced into a vision. I wanted to build a community of fathers and father figures that would be able to change the epidemic of fatherlessness in America’s households — an organization dedicated to protecting other children from going through what I went through and what my mother went through. I decided to make CoolxDad a vehicle of love to encourage fathers who are in absentia to be present with their offspring, and, to bring father figures who are parenting their children even closer to their flock at home.
CoolxDad isn’t just about me — it's about a new generation of fathers, father figures, and male role models who are engaged, impassioned, and forever cool; who are striving to build a better world for their children and for their communities. CoolxDad is about abundant provision.