MnABPsi Leaders Attend National Convention

Picture of Dr. Willie Garrett and Dr. Willie Winston

MnABPsi President, Dr. Willie Garrett (center) and Dr. Willie Winston  attending a workshop lead by Dr. Wade Nobles (standing at Left of picture) during the 2015 ABPsi National Convention.

MnABPsi Officers Dr. Willie Garrett, and Dr. Willie Winston both attended the National ABPsi convention recently in Las Vegas Nevada. Also in attendance were Dr. Pearl Barner, our MnABPsi National Liaison and Co-Chair of the ABPsi Ethics Committee, and Dr. Harvey Linder, who also recently joined the Ethics Committee. A prospective new member, Mr. Kenneth King, also attended.

One of the foci of this convention was a training for all Chapter leaders on moving toward establishing each chapter as a 501c(3)  organization, a process that the Mn Chapter has already been pursuing. There was also a training on how to conduct Emotional Emancipation Circles, a collaborative venture between ABPsi and the Community Healing Network aimed at creating a cadre of facilitators who can lead community dialogues that lead to a much needed re-building of personal, family and community relational ties to effect a stronger and healthier community. The long term aim is to have Emotional Emancipation Circles in every state and community across the country, beginning with each ABPsi chapter.  If you think you might have an interest in receiving this training, finding out more, or becoming a facilitator contact Harvey Linder or the ABPsi National Office for more detail.

Attending an ABPsi National Convention is a special experience and, if you

New President, Dr. Mwata Kevin Washington being ceremonially dragged by children (our future) to take on his responsibilities to lead the community.

New President, Dr. Mwata Kevin Washington being ceremonially dragged by children (our future) to take on his responsibilities to lead the community.

haven’t done so, I would strongly recommend that you plans to make it a part of your future agenda. Particularly moving is the Enstoolment Ceremony when new officers are installed and the torch is passed to a new generation.  Its not like any swearing in ceremony you have ever attending.

Students play a prominent part in ABPsi conventions, volunteering en masse to fill many vital support roles. as well as making presentations with their professional mentors and discussion their work in poster sessions.

Students play a prominent part in ABPsi conventions, volunteering en masse to fill many vital support roles, as well as making presentations with their professional mentors and discussing their work in poster sessions.

This year, the passing on of responsibility was doubly important and even more appropriately symbolic in that both the National Board and the Student Circle leadership were installed in one ceremony.

The Outgoing and Incoming  Student Circle Chairs

The Outgoing and (followed by) Incoming Student Circle Chairs

You can read more about past national conventions (and this year’s eventually) in the ABPsi newsletter, Psych Discourse, now available online (

With the weight of the organization having been placed on the new president, signified by the placing of the ABPsi stool and the Student Circle stool on top of the new president's stool, the outgoing president, Dr. Taasogle Daryl Rowe is allowed to take his presidential stool and depart.

With the weight of the organization having been placed on the new president, signified by the placing of the ABPsi stool and the Student Circle stool on top of the new president’s stool, the outgoing president, Dr. Taasogle Daryl Rowe is allowed to take his presidential stool and depart.

Black Psychologists more prominent at MPA

Argosy Student Donala Jordan with Dr. Brvada Garrett-Akinsanya

Argosy Student Donala Jordan with Dr. Brvada Garrett-Akinsanya

This years Minnesota Psychological Association conference included a number of both familiar and new African American faces.  Since her stint as both MnABPsi and MPA President, Dr. Bravada Garrett-Akinsanya has continued to urge not only greater involvement from women psychologists and psychologists of color, but also increased attention to diversity on the part of the state organization. She continues to serve on the MPA Governing Council. Dr. B, as we like to call her, was eventually followed in the MPA presidency by  two of her distinguished fellows, Dr. Harriet Haynes and later Dr. Tabitha Grier-Reid. Dr. Haynes now chairs the Convention Committee.

Current MnABPsi president, Dr. Willie Garrett heads up the Rural & Greater Minnesota Division, and did a fascinating presentation this year on his work with the Hmong community. Dr. Pearl Barner serves as the MPA Treasurer and liaison to the Board of Psychology.  Dr. Bibi Neumann co-chairs the New Psychologist Network.  Dr. Beryl Wingate is active in the Women’s Division as well as the Multicultural Division.

Mankato State counseling professor, Dr. Rose Stark-Rose

Mankato State counseling professor, Dr. Rose Stark-Rose

Dr. Rose Stark-Rose did a poster presentation on her cross cultural study of how eating disorder symptoms are perceived among Somali and Hmong women. Several students were on hand as well to present their work at poster sessions.  Donala Jordan, a 3rd year doctoral student at the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University was on hand to discuss his continuing work on finding predictors of Type II Diabetes in African American Adolescents.

Metro State Senior Hana Jama

Metro State Senior Hana Jama

Ms Hana Jama, a Senior at Metro State presented an interesting impact analysis of how organizations such as MPA might use tele-presence to expand the availability of continuing education offerings.

The student presence was a reminder of why MnAbPsi needs to do more to bring together its efforts to identify and support the students in our local midst.  Several of you are already doing this in isolation. Perhaps we should give more thought to at least co-ordinating some of those efforts.

At least three other African American student faces were seen at this years MPA conference.  The Itasca Community College apparently has a “Psychology Club”, and brought a group of students to the

Itasca freshman Albert McGlocton

Itasca freshman Albert McGlocton

Itasca freshman Malik Baker

Itasca freshman Malik Baker

conference, including freshmen Malik Baker and Albert McGlocton. Another Metro State student, Dante Williams, helped out at the registration table.

The future looks promising.


JUNE 25 & 26, 2015
HISTORICAL TRAUMA: Addressing Gender Issues in the African American Community

The conference provides an opportunity for meaningful community engagement and access to national and local educators, and community practitioners to discuss and introduce practical culturally sensitive trauma informed, outcome driven methods and services. The overall goal is to improve the health and wellness of African American men and their families, resulting in the larger community becoming healthier and safer.

Metropolitan State University, St. Paul Campus
700 East Seventh Street, St. Paul MN 55106

(click below for more details)

via simmonsconsulting | BLACK MEN HEALING CONFERENCE.

Cultural Wellness Center Fundraiser April 17

CWC Fundraiser flyerMnABPsi members and friends: If you would be interested  in supporting this worthy organization, you can contact me: Dr. Harvey Linder (612-615-3932) for tickets.  I serve as a Board Advisor.  Psychologists Rekhet Si-Asar and MinKaRa Tezet (formerly Harry Ford) are both active members of the organization, and would have tickets as well.

“Rock the Boat”: Resmaa Menakem Releases New Book

Resmaa Menakem MSW, LICSW, noted both locally and nationally as a trauma therapist as

Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW

Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW

well as family and relationship expert, held a party last week to release his new book: “Rock the Boat: How to Use Conflict to Heal and Deepen Your Relationship” (Hazelden Publishing).

Many of you know Resmaa from his work at either African American Family Services or at the Tubman Family Alliance, particularly after his success at revamping Tubman’s intervention model brought them to the attention of one Oprah Winfrey (see his website here) and also Dr. Phil.  But he has also maintained a a private practice, Unbound Resources, where he and like-minded colleagues, have worked to help couples and families heal.

His new book is a culmination of all that work, as well as his own life journey. In it he asserts that conflict is an inevitable component of every relationship.

A proud mother introduces her son, Resmaa Menakem, at book release party.

A proud mother introduces her son, Resmaa Menakem, at book release party.

We cannot avoid it. We can ether learn to address it courageously, or we will invariably fall back on tendencies that are both unhealthy and destructive.  Instead, his book offers tools for helping each individual in the relationship find a path to grow personally.  While it doesn’t guarantee that every relationship will survive, it does offer that those that survive will be deeper and more rewarding.

New St. Thomas Prof has South Mpls Roots

DSC_0045Dr. Bryana French,  moved up from  the University of Missouri, Columbia last year to join the faculty at St. Thomas’ Graduate School of Professional Psychology.  She had done her doctoral work at the University of Illinois and then interned at U Maryland.  But she is from South Minneapolis. She attended the Clara Barton Open School and graduated from DeLaSalle High School. Now she’s come full circle and is excited about returning home and working in her own community.

Dr. French has been an active leader on the national level in both APA and ABPsi  and is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Black Psychology.  She currently teaches MA and PsyD level courses in Diversity issues at UST. Her research and publication interests have centered around issues of sexual coercion and dating violence prevention among others.

Multicultural competence is a Journey, not a destination

Lambers Fisher is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT). He is a certified Prepare/Enrich counselor as well as a Board Approved Supervisor for the MN Board of Marriage & Family Therapy and the MN Board of Behavioral Health & Therapy. Additionally, Lambers has a Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary.

via Restorations For Life Counseling.

Therapist Lambers Fisher, LMFT, M.Div., reminded a recent workshop audience that “Multicultural competence is a Journey not a destination”.  It is not possible, he said, to be a fully competent counselor without diversity competence.  By “Diversity” he was referring to not only race and ethnicity, but to gender, ability, language, political viewpoint, and more.  He referenced the diversity wheel developed by John’s Hopkins University to illustrate the broad scope of diversity, and cautioned that counselors have an ethical responsibility to be able to help clients on both ends of any diversity spectrum, regardless of the counselors personal beliefs.

He gave as an example a situation where in one session the counselor may be asked to help family members of the victim of a police shooting, and the next session might be confronted with assisting the officer involved and his or her spouse in coping with the same event.  Counselors, he said, must be able to understand that “supporting the client in their beliefs is not the same as supporting the client’s beliefs”.

Fisher’s workshop “Diversity in Counseling: Increasing your cultural competence” was sponsored by Restorations for Life Counseling, which has offices in Brooklyn Park and Rogers, MN.  Visit their website (above link).

Ted Thompson awarded for Career Achievement
LtoR, Dr. Zach White, Dr. Willie Garrett, Ted Thompson, MPA President Dr. Scott Palmer, Linda Muldoon, Dr. Beryl Wingate

Ted Thompson awarded for Career Achievement

Ted  Thompson MEq, LP was the 2015 Recipient of the award for Outstanding Career Achievement in Black Psychology given each year during Black History month by the Diversity Committee of the Minnesota Psychological Association.  The award was initiated when former MnABPsi President, Read more ›

Work on the Directory picking up steam!

photo 2The long overdue update to the MnABPsi Directory of Mental Health Resources in the Black Community is picking up steam.  President Dr. Willie Garrett and Dr. Harvey Linder met recently with ministers from the the Black ministerial alliance known as “His Works United” to discuss plans to build more effective connections between black mental health providers and the black church.  The project is in early development, and MnABPsi promised to assist by helping the group to define better how to characterize this particular mission, by providing training to the ministry on black mental health issues, and by completing a comprehensive listing of black providers in the region. Read more ›

President’s Message

Welcome to a new year in ABPsi!  I am so excited about beginning our journey over the next year together!  I hope that we will

Dr. Willie Garrett

Dr. Willie Garrett

be able to accomplish a great deal for our community!  It is an interesting time for mental health, especially for Africans in America!  Our challenges continue to be enormous, and as usual…the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few!

On behalf of the Minnesota Chapter of Black Psychologists, I wish to invite you to join our group by completing the attached membership application/renewal form and mailing it in with your check for $55 today!  Student membership is a mere $15!

Our meetings are monthly and are held from 5:30 pm to 6:45 pm, at Hamline Park Plaza (not on Hamline Avenue) which is located on 570 Asbury Street, First Floor Conference Room St. Paul, MN 55104.  If you are interested in coming, please contact me, Willie B. Garrett, Ed.D., Interim President, at 651-343-3182.  Members are asked to please bring a food item to share. Read more ›