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 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.

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.

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.


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

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










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.

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.

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.