Larry Tucker, LMFT, Owner
Larry is the owner and co-founder of Kente Circle. He identifies himself as a relational therapist. “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. He also 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 20 plus years 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. Fear has a way of immobilizing people and their dreams. Larry hopes to encourage clients to lean into their fears and difficult conversations by being curious about what they don’t understand.
Renita Wilson, LICSW, Clinical Director
Renita is the Clinical Director of Kente Circle. Renita is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (B.S.- in Rhetoric, Youth Studies and African American Studies and Master Degree in Social Work). Renita joined the Kente Circle team in February 2011. Prior to joining the team, Renita earned a multitude of skills, experience, and expertise surrounding issues related to Family and Children services: Child Protection, Foster care, and Adoption as well as working with Adults and Children in Mental Health spanning over 18 years. In 2007, Renita began focusing her work with families and children through a clinical lens as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Renita approaches her clinical work as she does with all areas of her professional encounters; client centered, respectful, open-minded and honoring their story. Renita is an approved supervisor for the Board of Social Work and has provided ongoing supervision to BSW, MSW, a most recently MFT students pursing educational degrees. Renita has also worked in both private and public agencies in supervisory and management positions, overseeing all operating functions of programming and maintaining required expectations for continued service delivery.
She is committed to recognizing the strengths and potential in families and the value in healing and relationship building. Renita's sees her work with individuals and family, as an ongoing journey as every member is as unique and complementary to the relationships they hold and overall emotional health they possess. Renita is also excited to bring her rich experience into the role of Clinical Director as "relationships and systems" continue to be part of the intersections of service delivery and client centered work.
Kelsey Lundquist, MA, LMFT
Kelsey believes our relationships, connections, and past experiences greatly shape our lives. Kelsey received her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of St. Thomas in May 2013. Kelsey began her time at Kente Circle as an intern therapist in 2012. Upon obtaining her degree, Kelsey joined Kente Circle professionally in the roles of Associate Therapist and In-Home Service Coordinator. Kelsey is currently seeing clients both in-office and in-home for individual, couple, and family therapy. Kelsey utilizes a strength-based, relational-focused approach with her clients and feels privileged to walk alongside them in their journey through therapy. In her work, Kelsey is passionate about highlighting and utilizing client’s and families’ strengths, and honoring each family’s cultural values in the healing process.
LaShawn is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Registered Play Therapist and has been committed to working with children and families in the Twin Cities Metro area for over 20 years. LaShawn is a graduate of Northwestern College where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She also completed a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary's University. LaShawn integrates play therapy techniques in much of her work with children and families. LaShawn also utilizes a solution-focused perspective when working with clients and emphasizes honoring cultural values and promoting empowerment and growth. She has worked extensively with youth and their families involved in the juvenile justice system, child protection and foster care. LaShawn believes that positive change can occur through building on individual's strength and focusing on the power of relationships.
Cory Call, LMFT
Cory considers our relationships to be the foundation of our identities in the world. The way we interact and relate to our family, our coworkers, our partner, our children, our communities, our neighbors – these relationships ground us, challenge us, and enrich us. Cory believes that by strengthening our own identities, we strengthen our relationships and our communities.
For more than a decade, Cory has worked extensively with teenagers, young adults, couples, families, and multi-generational families – helping these clients navigate the emotional, relational, and social challenges of this life. Together they have explored and worked through a wide variety of issues including adoption and foster care, schooling and parenting, homelessness, mental health issues, family discord, gender identity and sexual orientation. Cory is an empathetic listener; adept at partnering with clients and helping them access their strengths, tend to areas of growth, and define their purpose as they stand against the problems that impact their lives.
Cory was raised in rural North Dakota, but home is south Minneapolis where he’s lived and worked for the past twenty years. Cory holds a degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in counseling psychology and marriage and family therapy from the University of St. Thomas. Cory is also a Minnesota LMFT Board-approved supervisor.
MarQueda values the power of relationships, connections, and empathy in therapy. She believes they are the pillars in the process of creating and supporting change. MarQueda pursued her Master' s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from The University of Saint Thomas and her Bachelors in Community Psychology from Saint Cloud University. She started at Kente as a intern in 2017 and currently works as a Associate Therapist. MarQueda approaches therapy with by addressing emotional hardships and interpersonal conflict. She highlights individual and collective strengths, collaborates with clients to create meaningful solutions, healthy communication and emotional intimacy.
MarQueda has experience working with elementary aged children on social, emotional and behavior skills and parents communication with the school system. She is open to individuals, couples, families, and children over the age of 13. She is comfortable with issues of adjustment, marital issues, depression, communication and relation problems. MarQueda strives to be authentic in therapy, in hopes to provide a welcome and safe environment for clients. She believes that while everyone has challenges, through healing, there is hope to find a more fulfilled life.
Melissa pursued her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University and also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Services from the University of Northern Iowa. She began as an intern with Kente Circle in 2017 and currently works as an Associate Therapist serving individuals, couples, and families. Melissa has additional experience working with parents and with children ages 0-4 and incorporates an attachment-based lens believing that our early relationships can lay the foundation for how we experience ourselves and others. She provides a gentle, strength-based, and relational approach to her work with clients. Melissa finds value in how communal, cultural, and familial factors shape who we are and how these pieces can also help support us in healing. As a white cis-gendered therapist, Melissa recognizes it is crucial to the therapeutic experience that she creates a safe space for people of all cultural identities, gender identities, and sexualities. Melissa is flexible to the needs of her clients and incorporates a person-centered approach allowing the needs and hopes of each client to influence what the therapy experience looks like. Melissa feels that it is an honor and privilege to be able to walk alongside someone and be a witness to their growth and development.
Casey McGraw, MA
Casey brings life experience, energy, and humor to the table as a Functional Family Therapist (FFT). Casey's experiences include working with children and families through the YMCA as well as an intern at Kente Circle. From within the FFT model, Casey focuses on a client's strengths and honors their individual and family journey along with the larger community context of the person or family as healing takes place. He focuses on engaging and motivating families to make positive changes through a relational approach. Casey has a natural curiosity and genuine care for the people that he works with and tries to encourage hope, innovation, and energy into those he encounters.
LaCresha Payne, LGSW
LaCresha has 7 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.
Lekie is a graduate of the Couple and Family Therapy program at the University of Kentucky, and currently a doctoral student in the University of Minnesota’s Family Social Science Department. With her background heavily rooted in a family systems orientation, Lekie is committed to promoting the wellbeing of individuals, couples, children, and families in diverse and underserved populations. Her goal in therapy is to work in a client-centered manner. She strives to meet clients where they are and employ strengths-based and empowerment-based approaches to collaboratively help them progress toward their goals. Lekie is passionate about providing the best services for each client or client group as it fits with their unique background and needs. She values attention to diversity and cultural competency in clinical work and believes that honoring diverse ways of knowing, living, and interacting is incredibly necessary, especially in our ever-changing society.
Evita first began her journey as an intern at Kente Circle in 2016, and continued to become an associate therapist. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and received her Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s Degree from St. Cloud State University. Evita has experience providing school-based and in-home therapy completely in Spanish, as her passion involves being a resource to the Latino community. As a first generation Mexican-American, Evita has a deep understanding of immigration and bi-cultural issues that affect Spanish speaking families in Minnesota. Evita hopes to guide clients in utilizing their own personal power to achieve their goals.
Quinn Maroney-Hernandez, MSW, LGSW
Quinn Maroney-Hernandez is a clinical social worker and utilizes a strengths-based and person-centered practice. Quinn received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Quinn then completed her Master's degree in social work from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities emphasizing in clinical mental health as well as children and families. Quinn was a Kente Circle intern in 2017 and now provides services in-office as well as school-based at Sojourner Truth Academy. Quinn enjoys working with all ages.
Quinn employs a variety of therapeutic interventions including narrative therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, play therapy, and structural family therapy. Quinn has worked in mental health for over 5 years and believes in the power of a person's story, their relationships, and their drive for connection which ushers a path for true healing.
As a white cisgender woman, Quinn works to be an advocate for communities and attends to dismantling narratives within white communities that actively harm and oppress others.
Quinn likes to have a good time and encourages her work with children, individuals, families, and couples to be a space where each person is able to explore their voice, needs, and identity. Quinn has experience working with anxiety, depression, childhood trauma, serious and persistent mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, LGBTQ+, life transitions, divorce, toxic stress, as well as many other areas.
Hans Olson, MA, LAMFT
As a relational therapist, Hans uses the connection he forms with each client to shape his intervention. He believes there are as many ways to approach therapy as there are clients. His approach is client-centered with an emphasis on creating space to explore identity. He is also interested in how that identity shapes and is shaped by our relationships and environment.
Hans has over 15 years of experience working with youth and their families in the Twin Cities. His work includes facilitating parenting and relationship violence prevention programs, youth mentorship, and providing individual, couples, and family counseling. He is passionate about cooking, superheroes, and exploring ideas around family of origin, gender identity, sexuality, and non-traditional relationship styles.