Staff Members

Bukata Hayes
Executive Director
The most important thing about Bukata Hayes is that he is the son of Dia Damani Courtney and Karen Hayes, husband to Lisa and father to Damani, Jalen, Zavier, and Zuri. In addition to this, Bukata has served as the Executive Director of the Greater Mankato Diversity Council since September, 2006. Prior to this role, he served as the Coordinator of the Multi Ethnic Center at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, the first-ever position of its kind at the college. Bukata received his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. He has membership and/or is on the board of numerous organizations such as the Mankato Chapter of the NAACP (President), Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Board (President), Latin American Multicultural Association for Networking and Opportunity –LA MANO (Board), and Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation Board.
Missy Manderfeld
Administrative Assistant
Missy is recently retired from Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she worked in the Social Work Department. Her volunteer experience includes VINE Faith in Action, YWCA, Echo Food Shelf, etc. Missy says that presenting respect workshops in the classroom takes her out of her comfort zone in a good way and she enjoys getting to know the other facilitators. Her most important role is that of mom (4 grown children) and proud grandmother.
Ayan Musse
Diversity and Inclusion Specialist
Ayan was born in East Africa (Somalia) and grew up in Egypt. In 1997, she came to the United State as a refugee. She has lived the refugee experience, leaving Somalia at the age of 13. Due to her life experiences, she understands the struggles of the racial inequality and the importance of building an all-inclusive community where everyone feels welcome. She has called Mankato her home since 2002 and is very involved in the community. She has obtained her Associate of Arts (AA) Degree at South Central College and in progress obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) at Minnesota State University Mankato. Ayan is passionate for challenging individuals to expand their thinking while equipping and empowering those who desire to see actual, sustainable change within our community regarding diversity and racial inequity. She is committed to improve the quality of life for all individuals by effecting system-wide change through the pursuit of social justice.
Kuma Takamura
Education Director
It was supposed to be a melting pot, but when Kuma came to the U.S. from Japan in the '80s, what he found was "Chunky Stew." Kuma, as a biologist, an electrical engineer, and an educator, worked in many areas including private sector and higher education system. Everywhere he went he strongly felt diversity was a strength but "we were not tapping into it." Humans are inquisitive and curious beings. Difference triggers fear, but he hopes, with our effort, the curiosity/inquisitiveness will eventally take over and people will start learning each others' differences and start recognizing the power of diversity! Kuma joined the Greater Mankato Diversity staff in the summer of 2011.