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.
Kathy Jensen
Executive Assistant
As a past educator in the Mankato Public Schools, Kathy realizes the important role education plays in our schools to achieve awareness, understanding and tolerance of our many likes and differences. Retired from her teaching career, Kathy joined the Greater Mankato Diversity Council in 2006 and serves as the Executive Assistant. She is proud to be involved in the positive programs that celebrate diversity that are offered through the Diversity Council.
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.
Annette Perry
Education Coordinator
Annette is mother to an incredible girl named Marley Jane and spouse of a fantastic man named AJ. Annette studied business, finance, mathematics, and dance at Minnesota State University, where she graduated in 2006 and has since worked in banking, real estate, and marketing. She is honored to be currently serving as the Education Coordinator for the Greater Mankato Diversity Council. Annette's past experience working with students includes parent volunteer for 5th grade MathMasters and WordMasters, coaching Heart & Sole for the YWCA, and volunteering with the Mankato Area Adaptive Ski program. Annette believes every community needs a diversity council because their work is powerful, proactive, and loving. Annette loves facilitating Promoting Respect Workshops, and since they have been mindfully designed for each grade, she knows the work will be effective in producing a better tomorrow.
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.