Kente Circle Training Institute


Kente Circle Training Institute

About Our Training

Wellness can only happen in community! Each year KCTI holds an annual conference in the fall in order to support space for community members to tap into their authentic selves. We recognize that institutional racism silences individual's genius in places of education, career, family and everyday interactions. Our conferences are intended to up lift BIPOC's (black, indigenous, People of color), and other marginalized communities. We interact with community members with intent to ask provoking questions that will impact our awareness, propel us towards sustainable equity for communities of difference and into action that surpasses repetitive dialogue.

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Participants get the opportunity to engage and learn through lecture, community reflection, song/poetry/dance performances and more. By recognizing the intersecting layers of our racial, gender, and other identities, we hope to inspire each other to turn towards our blind-spots mindfully. Through compassion and determination for understanding, we are able to act intentionally towards growing our cross-difference relationships for a healthier lifestyle.

Kente Circle Training Institute

Annual Conferences & Workshops

Kente Circle Training Institute

Meet Our Faculty

KCTI has been offering mental health provider training and consultation since 2015 (prior to that with Kente Circle since 2004) with great success in many venues including higher education, grammar schools settings, government agencies, social work teams, juvenile justice settings, and one on one with clients. In these past years we have seen demand for services and access to training and connection grow exponentially. As a team of mental health Providers and Professionals, KCTI has a unique perspective on a mental health field. One major area of concern is the desperate lack of capacity to respond to the needs of people of color.

As a resource to support, KCTI is proud to offer virtual and in person programs, both one-time intensive sessions or ongoing throughout the year that support the cultural and professional development training needs of your team and clients.

We know that every organization’s training and consulting needs are different and unique. Our Trainers have a wide range of experience and expertise with the capacity to develop and tailor training and consultation sessions to your organization’s unique desires.

KCTI has cultivated a skilled Faculty of trainers/consultants who are versed in many topics relative to diversity, inclusion and cultural awareness.  Our team has significant experience with African American and other BIPOC communities, Blended Families and Multi-racial couples as well as their own personal life experiences as an African American men and women.  They have conducted training seminars for many organizations, including: State Departments, County Agencies, Public Schools, Non-Profit and For-Profit Social Service agencies in Minnesota and the Midwest.

We invite you to explore our Online/On-demand learning opportunities here on our website.  If you have more specific training or consultation needs please take a look at our Faculty and reach out to us by filing out the request form below. 

Larry G Tucker

KCTI Trainer and Consultant

Larry G. Tucker, M.S., LMFT, AAMFT, MN Approved MFT & LPC Supervisor

Larry is the owner and co-founder of Kente Circle founded in 2004 and CEO/President of the Kente Circle Training Institute (KCTI) founded 2015. 

Larry identifies himself as a relational therapist and supervisor.  “I believe that isolation is a major cause of mental illness and the cure for this disease lies within relationships….” Larry enjoys helping individuals, couples and families navigate life’s challenges.  He believes that everyone has strength that can aid them at their lowest moments in life. His approach is grounded in focusing on each person’s strengths.  However he feels “It is important that each of us learn to embrace our weakness and areas of growth by acknowledging where we have difficulties.  True healing occurs only when people are brave enough to embrace that pain is a normal part of life and acknowledge that suffering is a choice.”

Larry is an Adjunct Professor at St. Mary’s University, Twin Cities Campus, in their Masters Program for Marriage and Family Therapy.  Larry has 25 years plus of experience in the social service field. He is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, Minnesota MFT and LPC Board Approved Supervisor.  Larry is also a trainer and consultant to agencies who are interested in enhancing their cultural knowledge and experiences with their staff and clients. As a trainer and consultant his goal is to inspire people to resist giving into the fear that comes with the unknown.  He believes that “Fear has away of immobilizing people and their dreams.”  Larry hopes to encourage clients and trainees to lean into their fears and difficult conversations by being curious about what they don’t understand.

LaCresha Payne

KCTI Training Coordinator and Trainer

LaCresha has 8 plus years of experience working with adolescents and their families. She has co- facilitated racial dialogues with adolescents, provided academic support and guidance, and managed adolescents who were on probation. LaCresha has worked with families and children in exploring solutions to emotional, mental, and social challenges. LaCresha believes that all people are capable of greatness if given support, knowledge, and compassion. LaCresha graduated from St. Olaf College with an undergraduate degree in Social Work and American Racial and Multicultural Studies. She completed her Masters degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Adolescents and Families from the University of Minnesota School Of Social Work.

Renita Wilson

KCTI Trainer and Consultant

Renita Wilson

Renita Wilson, MSW, LICSW, MN Approved Social Work Supervisor

Renita Wilson is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and Clinical Associate with Kente Circle.

Since 2011, Wilson served as an associate therapist and intern supervisor, becoming Clinical Director in 2015. In addition to overseeing operations and maintaining a clinical caseload, Wilson supervises a staff of approximately 20 clinicians and interns who make up KCTI’s internship program. Prior to joining Kente Circle, Wilson served as Licensing Supervisor of Ramsey County Child Foster Care managing all functions of the department including supervising 16 staff members. Wilson also spent four years as a Children’s Mental Health Case Manager for Ramsey County Human Services after spending seven years as a Program Manager at African American Adoption Agency. Wilson has over eleven years of experience providing on-call mental health counseling for Regions Hospital and Touchstone Residential Facility. She started her career in mental heath services at Amherst Wilder Foundation where she worked for four years. Wilson is a member of the Minnesota Association of Black Social Workers and a board approved supervisor for LICSWs.

Steven Cambrice

KCTI Trainer and Consultant

Steven Cambrice, M.S., LMFT MN Approved MFT Supervisor

Steven Cambrice is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who provides counseling services to couples, individuals, youth and families in the Twin Cities and surrounding communities for over 15 plus years.  Prior to arriving in the Twin Cities he was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Steven has witnessed firsthand the difficulties facing youth and families in many urban areas.  His has experience working in community-based settings with youth and families systemically. Steven brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that offers therapeutic support to youth and families. His work has a strong emphasis in cultural competency with a specific focus on the impact of trauma in the African American community. Steven is the founder of Jabez Youth & Family LLC serves BIOPC community in the Twin Cities metro area. He is also a former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher Football player.   He completed his Bachelor of Arts at University of Minnesota and his graduate education was completed at the University of Wisconsin, Stout where he received a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Dr. J. Phillip Rosier

KCTI Trainer and Consultant

Dr. J. Phillip Rosier, M.S., LMFT, PsyD, AAMFT, MN Approved MFT Supervisor

Dr. J. Phillip Rosier is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has provided counseling services to many individuals, couples and families in the Twin Cities metro area for over 20 years.  Dr. Phil is an innovative therapist that utilizes culture, communication skills, and interpersonal relationships to enhance the quality of relationships between individuals, couples and families.  He received his undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University and his master’s degree in Couples and Family Therapy from UW Stout in Menomonie, WI.  Dr. Phil was one of the co-founders of Kente Circle and is a doctorial graduate of University of St. Thomas counseling psychology program.  Dr. Phil is a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and the Association of Black Psychologist.

Dr. Phil is currently a multicultural counselor at the University of St. Thomas. He provides counseling to students at University of St. Thomas in Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

Brandon Jones

KCTI Trainer and Consultant

Brandon Jones, MA

Brandon Jones brings a down-to-earth and compassionate attitude to Mental Health. Brandon is a psychotherapist, professor, behavioral health consultant. He specializations in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Historical and Intergenerational trauma, Social/Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Leadership, and Youth Justice. Born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Brandon has survived living in a home of domestic violence and various other forms of trauma. Brandon holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, a Masters in Community Psychology from Metropolitan State University, and a Masters in Psychotherapy (MFT) from Adler Graduate School. Brandon is also a 2013 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow. He currently serves as the Integrated Services Manager at NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center. He is also professor at Metropolitan State University and Century College. He lives by the motto of “Live life with Purpose on Purpose”.

Dr. Zayed Ahmed

KCTI Trainer and Consultant

Zayed Ahmed

Zayed Ahmed, PhD., LPCC, LICSW, MN Approved LPCC Supervisor

Zayed is the Director of Research, Evaluation and Education with Avenues for Youth.  Dr. Ahmed’s life work thus far has centered youth, community, culture, liberation and transformation. Over the last 9 years, Dr. Ahmed has been able to pursue these passions through her work at Avenues for Youth ranging from Director of Programs to Mental Health Clinical supervisor. Her career has taken many paths over the last 20 years but have all centered on youth and community well-being. Over this span of time, Dr. Ahmed has worked with youth at The Emily Program, Kente Circle, Face2Face, Amicus, and the Council on Crime and Justice. In addition, Dr. Ahmed currently teaches as a Senior Community Faculty at Metropolitan State University in the Psychology department. It is Dr. Ahmed’s hope that through her professional work and community activism that she contributes on an individual level to the change, liberation and transformation we all seek. It is through this lens that she strives through her clinical work, supervision and life contributions to have the greatest impact.

Leela Willard

KCTI Trainer and Consultant

Leela Willard, MSW, LICSW

Leela is a clinical social worker who uses a cultural-relational approach and narrative practice combined with historical and social context to guide therapeutic practice, community engagement, and education/training. She believes that individual and community healing comes from looking at identity, understanding how trauma and cultural privilege and positioning can create the internal change,  and how this develops in to external results. Leela has work experience in children’s mental health, child protection, Indian child welfare, community engagement, resource development, clinical therapy and adjunct teaching. Across all of this work she carries lived experience and knowledge of transracial adoption, addiction, childhood trauma, LGBTQ matters, identity, racism and discrimination (and the impact), grief. She also believes that looking outward to the social norms that have contributed to misguided thinking about who we are, and through the development of healthy authentic relationships we can begin to restore ourselves and out communities. Through reclamation and reframing individuals can develop a true sense of self and live more authentically. Leela is committed to creating and holding the space to help individuals, families, communities, and organizations develop and create action in growth areas. 

Leela has her Undergraduate Degree in Social Work from St Catherine University, and Master’s Degree in Social Work from Augsburg College. She has had the honor of working within very diverse communities and is committed to the healing and empowerment of communities of color and indigenous peoples.

Kente Circle Training Institute

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