A Courageous Conversation at the Intersection of Understanding Masculinity, Incarceration, Violence, Politics, and Racism in the Lived Experience of Black Men

Earn 2.0 CEUs (approved by the MN MFT Regulatory Board)!  $30 for MAMFT members, $60 for non-members

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Presented By: Acacia M-Po Abu Ali Gammage, MA (PhD-Candidate) & Keegan “KJ” Rolenc

Workshop Description: This workshop will center around a courageous conversation delving into the multisystemic complexities, brutal realities, and inspired hope actualized throughout the lived experience of a young black man in the process of rediscovering himself and the world in which he lives after an early life comprised of crime and incarceration in an impoverished urban community. Acacia will facilitate a meaningful dialogue that gradually extends to the audience in mutual consideration of clinical strategies and self-of-therapist work demanded by a therapist’s effort to effectively join with Black men.

Workshop Objectives: At the conclusion of this training, participants will be able to identify etiological systemic barriers that may be impacting their clients and families who have experiences either directly or indirectly with incarceration. Participants will also be able to develop an awareness of the duality role that they play as being both healers and members of “the system.” Through an open dialogue participants will explore and discuss the symbiotic nature that incarceration, racism violence and masculinity have on Black males; and the ethical obligations that systemic practitioners have as they come in contact with clients who may be impacted by such barriers.

Presenters’ Bios: 

Acacia M-Po Abu Ali Gammage completed her degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and is currently a LAMFT as well as a doctoral candidate at North Central University. Acacia has done extensive work and research with impoverished communities around the Twin Cities area and surrounding rural communities. Acacia is currently fulfilling a dual role as a LAMFT and a Supervisor in a pilot program working with Black families in Ramsey County through the Partnership Program.

Keegan “KJ” Rolenc has had extensive experience with the juvenile justice system culminating to a five year prison sentence at the age of 19. Upon release he began working on criminal justice reform, reentry, prisoner rights and minority outreach within the Minneapolis community in the form of consulting with agencies on better serving Black males. KJ is starting an internship with the mayor’s office starting January 2020.


Refund Policy: 

Requests must be made in writing. Refunds will be given on requests received 10 days prior to the training event. A 20% administrative fee per person will be deducted from all cancellations. No refunds will be given if received less than 10 days prior to the event, but registrants can transfer their registration to another person.

Date & Location

Saint Mary’s University
Brother Louis Hall, Room 105
2304 Park Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55404

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Ticket Type

Dates Attending


Mon June 1, 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Presenter(s): Acacia M-Po Abu Ali Gammage, MA (PhD-Candidate) & Keegan "KJ" Rolenc

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