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Stand Against Racism is recognized annually in April by YWCA chapters across the county. The campaign provides the opportunity for communities to find an issue or cause to educate, advocate and promote racial justice.

In recognition of the 2022 Stand Against Racism campaign, YWCA Tulsa launched the Carmela Hill Legacy Fund, a $5,000 micro-loan program providing small business start-up funding to women entrepreneurs in Tulsa. Women who are selected will participate in a personal and business financial literacy course hosted by BOK Financial and TEDC.

YWCA will kick off the 2023 application process of the Carmela Hill Legacy Fund with Women Mean Business, an informational and networking event for women interested in the fund. The event will take place on June 3, 2023, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Patti Johnson Wilson Center, and will feature a panel of Tulsa’s brightest female entrepreneurs. Panelists will be poised to provide advice and answer questions about starting a business. Attendees will also learn more about the application process for the program and requirements for participation.

The Carmela Hill Legacy Fund is generously supported by Tulsa Area United Way, Coretz Family Foundation, Milo’s Tea Company Inc., Target, Bank of Oklahoma, TEDC, and individual donors


Event Details

Date: June 3, 2023
Time: 10 AM – 12 PM
Venue: Patti Johnson Wilson Center (1910 S. Lewis Ave., Tulsa, OK 74104)
RSVP: 2023 Women Mean Business
Questions: Contact Zoe Cauley at zcauley@ywcatulsa.org
*Free childcare will be available

2023 Women Mean Business Program

Class Size: 15 Applicants
Program Length: 15 Weeks
Time: July 10 – October 23
When: Mondays, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Patti Johnson Wilson Center


Meet The Panelists

Avea Howard

Owner, House of Topaz

Dr. Tamecca Rogers

Filmaker, Author, Publisher

Ilana Velazquez

Owner, Sisserou's Restaurant

Carmela Hill, Moderator

LaBelle Restaurant and Events, Carmela Hill Entertainment

Why A Micro-Loan Program?

According to The Kaufman Foundation, a nonprofit group that studies entrepreneurship, immigrants were almost twice as likely as the native-born population to start a new business.

The 2019 State of Women-Owned Business report, commissioned by American Express, shows in almost every category that women of color are leading the women-owned business charge.

A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City recommended the “creation of better access and more diverse funding sources accessible to black women business owners."