YWCA Tulsa is thrilled to announce Kuma Roberts as the 2023 Pinnacle Awards Chair!
Kuma is a leader in the Tulsa community, mobilizing companies and individuals to courageously create space for dialogue about diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. The 2022 Pinnacle Awards Corporate Business Honoree, Kuma is the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Arrowhead Consulting and worked for Tulsa Regional Chamber for 10 years as Executive Director of Talent Attraction, Retention & Mosaic. She most recently served as Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
We sat down with Kuma to chat more about her role as Chair and learn more about her work on diversity, equity and inclusion in the Tulsa community.
YWCA: Why is it important to you to celebrate phenomenal women in the Tulsa community through Pinnacle Awards?
Kuma: Often women are underrepresented, overwhelmed, least seen heard and valued across a variety of systems in our community. The YWCA has placed a stake in the ground that women matter and our community is chock full of brilliant, beautiful and impactful women that deserve recognition. Who wouldn’t want to be involved in that worthy effort??
YWCA: What inspires you to keep working toward your vision for what Tulsa can be?
Kuma: The work I am doing in Tulsa and around the nation is about leaving a legacy. I want my children to be Tulsans and not flee to cities seen as more diverse, equitable and inclusive. I am inspired by how far our city has come in the 40 years I’ve been living here, and I’m thrilled by the opportunity to be a part of how much farther it will grow in the years to come.
YWCA: Last year you were honored as the Corporate Business Honoree at Pinnacle Awards. What are some common challenges our corporate community continues to face and how an organization might seek a way to grow in this work?
Kuma: Diversity, equity and inclusion is not a trend. It is a guiding practice for any organization that wants to remain sustainable, relevant and profitable. A common challenge from the corporate community is that many are still sidelining DEI- as a separate committee, or group usually where BIPOC individuals are left to create events focused on diversity alone. Those organizations that get it- both corporate and non-profit are embedding DEI into their strategies and making it everyone’s responsibility to create more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace cultures.
YWCA: What are some of your passion projects outside of the equity and justice work you do?
Kuma: I am deeply passionate about seeing North Tulsa, the area I grew up in- grow and develop at the same rate as the rest of Tulsa. Thus far, progress has been slow. I serve on the Historic Greenwood Main Street board of directors, METCares Foundation and #RacismStinks because of their alignment to my passions. I also have really tried to make more time to care for myself. I realized somewhere along the past two years since COVID19 that my needs – emotional, physical, and mental – have to be made a priority. Pedicures and wine have become passions of mine as well!
2023 Pinnacle Awards nominations are open now! Learn more here.