MnABPsi Members Active at National Conference

Four members of our local chapter participated at the recent National Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) conference in Orlando Florida, July 24-28. President Dr. Willie Garrett was in attendance, as was first-time attendee, Sue Govern. Drs. Harvey Linder and Pearl Barner took part in a presentation by the ABPsi Ethics Committee on Applying Maatian Principles to Organization Development in African Descent Organizations. Dr. Linder and Dr. Barner are both members of the Ethics Committee and have spent the past four years working on a re-write of the ABPsi Ethical guidelines using the principles of Ma’at as a framework. Dr. Barner Co-Chairs ABPsi’s Ethics Committee. Dr. Linder has recently signed on to Co-Chair the Chapter Development Committee.

Dr. Linder with ABPsi Students and APA President

Dr. Linder is seen in this image alongside Dr. Rosie P. Bingham, current president of the American Psychological Association (APA), as they congratulate incoming national officers of the ABPsi Student Circle.

Looking like African Queens

A second photo shows (from left to right) Dr. Huberta Jackson-Lowman, Outgoing President of The Association of Black Psychologists, Dr. Rosie P. Bingham, President of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Theopia Jackson, Incoming President of ABPsi, and Dr. Constance Williams, another member of the ABPsi Ethics Committee.

Next MnABPsi Meeting


Next MnABPsi Meeting

Sunday 8/11/19.   5:30-6:45 PM

Dear ABPsi Family,

I hope you all had a wonderful summer and had the chance to enjoy all that our ancestors have given us. However, the struggle for our communities mental health well-being continues, and we must respond with all of our joint resources and knowledge.  We will meet on Sunday 8/11/19 at 5:30 pm. Please send agenda items to me as there is so much going on right now. Together, we are better and stronger.



MnABPsi President Dr. Willie Garrett to become President of Mn Psychological Assn

Mn ABPsi President, Dr. Willie Garrett, announced last month that he has been elected to the post of President of the Minnesota Psychological Association. Garrett will serve as President-Elect during the remainder of 2019, and then begin his year as President in January of 2020. Dr. Garrett becomes the second MnABPsi President to also serve in the role of MPA President, following in the footsteps of Dr. Bravada Garrett-Akinsanya (no relation) who was a trailblazer in that respect. Her presidency set the stage for two other MnABPsi members, Dr. Harriett Copher Haynes, and Dr. Tabitha Grier Ried to also hold that post.

Dr. Garrett’s ascension will necessitate the selection of a new President for our Chapter. So, if any of you are interested in taking on a leadership post or might like to suggest or urge a colleague to do so, start thinking about it now.

Smiling photo of Dr. Willie Garrett
Willie Garrett, MS, LP, Ed.D.

Our Minnesota Chapter of ABPsi owes a great debt to Dr. Garrett. He has almost singlehandedly kept the chapter alive and afloat through several years when the commitment of others was often drawn away by competing duties. Throughout, Dr. Garrett continued to step up and hold the mantle because he saw the ongoing need for Black Psychologists to have a visible organized presence in Minnesota due to the influx of new students and professionals wishing to connect, and the requests from media and agencies reaching out for a voice from the Black psychological community on the pressing issues of the day.

Thad Wilderson honored at MPA/ABPsi Event

Image of Thad Wilderson receiving award from MPA diversity committee
L to R: Harriet Haynes, Willie Garrett, Susan Rydell, Yasmine Moideen, and Thad Wilderson

Thad Wilderson, MEd, LP was honored Feb 1 as this years recipient of the John M. Taborn Award for Outstanding Contributions to Psychology by a Person of African Descent. The award was established more than a dozen years ago as a joint endeavor by the Minnesota Psychological Association (MPA) and the Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists (MnABPsi) and renamed in honor of Dr. John Taborn after his recent passing. Dr. Taborn was a trailbazer in terms of the delivery of mental health services to people of African descent in Minnesota. And Thad Wilderson was an early contemporary. Both Taborn and Wilderson launched clinics to serve the Black community of the Twin Cities in the early 1970’s, Taborn’s in Minneapolis and Wilderson’s in St. Paul. Wilderson remarked that even though his clinic had moved offices a number of times, it remained always on the same block of University Avenue where it was originally founded.

Thad Wilderson MEd, LP

Wilderson described that he did not set out to become a psychologist. But rather, his goal was to be a teacher. However, he found that being one of the only Black male teachers in his school meant that he was often called down to the Principle’s office to intervene whenever young Black males got into trouble. He later went on to seek out some of the skills that would help him in those interventions.

Wilderson, a native of New Orleans, completed his BA and MA at Southern University, then had additional course work in a doctoral program at the University of Minnesota. After working as a staff psychologist at Macalester College in St. Paul, he eventually became Director of Psychological Services there, and subsequently an Associate Dean.

He founded his psychology clinic as a side venture, in part because his mother never let him forget that he had an obligation to try to do something for his own people. It eventually became not only his primary focus, but also a launching pad for literally dozens of Minnesota’s Black mental health providers who got their start at Thad Wilderson Associates. Through Thad’s mentorship, they acquired grounding they needed to go on to licensure and/or certification and fill essential roles in Minnesota’s healthcare delivery system.

Project Kofi’s approach presented at MPA First Friday Forum

Picture of Rudy Rousseau and staff from Kofi Services
Rudy Rousseau and staff from Kofi Services

Last year, Rudy Rousseau, LP, MEq, a long time Twin Cities mental health provider, was honored as the 2018 recipient of the John M. Taborn Award for Outstanding Contributions to Psychology by a Person of African Descent. Rousseau had worked for many years as a counselor in the clinic of J. Taborn Associates. The award, launched as a joint endeavor of the Minnesota Psychological Association (MPA) and the Minnesota Chapter of The Association of Black Psychologists (MnABPsi) is presented each year in partial observance of Black History Month. As is customary, the recipient each year is then asked to give or to arrange a presentation for the following year.

Cristina Combs

In keeping with that tradition, and also in keeping with his longtime style of nudging others to show their talents, and them letting them have the spotlight, Rousseau used the occasion to showcase his colleagues at Project Kofi, a program he is credited with founding more than two decades ago.

Mary Her

Project Kofi is now Kofi Services, the Amherst Wilder Foundation’s School Mental Health Services. Originally targeted at African American boys, Kofi now serves both boys and girls. A companion program, Hlub Zoo, operated under the same banner, serves primarily Hmong students and their families.

Evette Farley

This years presentation was entitled “Trauma Informed Must be Race Informed: Culturally Informing Mental Health Practices to Partner with Clients, Families, and Communities”. Rousseau’s colleagues not only described how they use a trauma informed approach to connecting with their students and families, but also gave participants the opportunity to explore how our own perceptions might change if we used such an approach, and gave us guidelines for how we might integrate this approach into our own practices.

Dr. Chanee Rudolph

Rousseau was joined by Cristina Combs, M.A., LICSW a Clincal Supervisor for Kofi Services, as well as Mary Her, M.A., LICSW, a Clinical Therapist who started and works primarily with Hlub Zoo, Evette Farley, M.A., LPCC also a Mental Health Professional, and Chanee Rudolph,Ph.D., a Mental Health Practitioner.

Ramsey County seeks Agencies to provide whole family services for African American youth.

Ramsey County seeks whole family services for African American youth who are not attending school due to mental health issues.

Ramsey County is seeking one or two organizations that can assist African American students, K thru 12, in successfully transitioning back to school by coordinating whole family services. Provider staff will be trained in the wraparound model of care coordination but will be expected to use their expertise to adapt this model to meet the unique needs of the students who will be served.

Proposals are due on March 7th. A non-mandatory pre-proposal meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m, Thursday, February 12th at Ramsey County Public Works, 1425 Paul Kirkwold Drive, Arden Hills, MN 55112 in the Marsden Room. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the work to be performed and allow providers to ask questions concerning the application process. 

If you have questions, please contact Karen Bollinger at

Sent by: Sue Illg, Planner
Ramsey County Children’s Mental Health Program

Adult mood disorders faculty psychologist position

The University of Minnesota Medical School is seeking an adult mood disorders psychologist for a faculty position in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science.  Diverse and underrepresented applicants are encouraged to apply.  Please pass along this info to anyone you know who may be interested.

The job posting is #327448.

Danielle Vrieze, PhD, LP
Assistant ProfessorUniversity of Minnesota Medical School
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciencesoffice: (612) 273-9129

MN ABPsi Author publishes article in this month’s Journal of Black Psychology


A big shout out to Dr. Willie Winston III for his co-authored article in the May 2017 issue of the Journal of Black Psychology!
Note that Dr. Winston lists his affiliation as Minnesota Association of Black Psychologists. Congrats, Willie!

Pearl Barner II

Adler Graduate School Students meeting to form Mn Chapter of ABPsi Student Circle

Picture of Adler Students

Students at Adler Graduate School MN making plans to start an ABPsi Student Circle Chapter.

Currently, we are in the process of starting a local Student Circle Chapter with the help of Ms. Rashida Fisher and several students at the Adler Graduate School.  If you, too, are interested, please contact:

Rashida Fisher, MS, LPCC, LADC

Faculty/ Internship Placement Coordinator

1550 East 78th Street

Richfield, MN 55423

Phone: 612-767-7062








Mn Black Psychologists address job stress with Black Journalists



Dr. Dierdre Golden

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) held its annual meeting this week in Minneapolis.  On the agenda was a collaboration between NABJ and the National Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) to address the health effects of repeated exposure to traumatic event news among journalists. The workshop was coordinated by Muriel Evans-Buck of NABJ and moderated by Carolyn Drees of Reuters. The panel consisted of two national members of ABPsi who operate clinical practices in the Twin Cities, Dr. Pearl Barner II and Dr. Willie Garrettt.  Barner recently retired from heading the mental health clinic at the University of Minnesota’s Boynton health services. Dr. Garrett, also in private practice, is the president of the local chapter of ABPsi. They were joined by Dr. Dierdre Golden, Behavioral Health Director at  NorthPoint Health and Wellness Centre and Resmaa Menakem, a clinical social worker and internationally known expert on trauma therapy, and author of Rock the Boat: How to use Conflict to Heal and Deepen Your Relationships.

The panelist talked about how journalists, because of their work, can be exposed repeatedly to primary stressors while at the same time

Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW

Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW

feeling forced to ignore the physiological indicators of stress on their bodies. Black journalists, in particular, may be even more susceptible due to the impact of what the psychologists referred to as “historical trauma” a form of  intergenerational stress thought to be suffered by African Americans.  In addition, many Black journalists find themselves in situations where they lack a ready support system.

The panelists also alerted the audience to how secondary stressors may be affecting people in the trade who are not on the front lines, but who never-the-less suffer repeated exposure to stressful events because they are forced to follow Twitter feeds or spend time in the editing room viewing disturbing content that the rest of the public never sees. Moreover, their children and families may be subjected to secondary stress through their associations with the journalist.

Dr. Pearl Barner II

Dr. Pearl Barner II

Audience members shared very personal stories of how many of them have been traumatized by the work that they do and how they found themselves without any guidance on where to turn for help. The panelists pointed out that some journalism schools are beginning to include courses on how to cope with the impact of trauma on the job, that Black journalists may need to look into forming their own support group of “trusted” colleagues, but perhaps away from the newsroom at first.  They also suggested using organisational ties like those within NABJ as a source of support. As well, they reminded the audience that most employers do have some type of employee assistance program that could be a good place to start.

For the most part, however, these mental health professionals were suggesting that all of us need to learn ways to inoculate ourselves against stress, and that we need to include in our daily routines ways to disconnect from the continuous onslaught of

Dr. Willie Garrett

Dr. Willie Garrett

media input that we experience every day. We need to eat the right foods, get regular exercise, and develop a sleep hygiene that ensures that we are able to decompress before bedtime, and allow sufficient time to sleep, giving our nervous system a chance to reset itself.

Most in the room agreed that it might be a good idea for organizations like NABJ and the Association of Black Psychologists to look into how both can collaborate going forward.