Healthy disrupter. Boricua. Community-oriented. These are the three descriptors that best encapsulate Marcia Bruno-Todd, the director of programs and community impact at Leadership Tulsa. 

Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Bruno-Todd moved to Lawton in her pre-school years. After graduating from Oklahoma State University and receiving her Master of Public Administration from Arkansas State University, Bruno-Todd worked in a variety of capacities with Tulsa Public Schools, Teach for America and OSU. At Leadership Tulsa, her main goals are to connect leaders with impactful service opportunities to better the community. Dubbing herself a “healthy disrupter,” Bruno-Todd believes that “all systems and teams need a healthy disrupter that calls out new ways of thinking and focuses on making implicit assumptions explicit and accessible for the team.” We caught up with Bruno-Todd and got her thoughts on … 

… why she loves her job.

Leadership Tulsa’s mission is to identify, develop and connect diverse leaders who impact the community through service. I appreciate that we play a crucial role in sharing our city’s stories, triumphs, opportunities and challenges. Sharing stories provides us the opportunity to empower each other with diverse perspectives. I believe to effectively address complex issues such as racial equity, we need to make space for more seats at more tables, to have more voices that drive meaningful change in our community. 

Most of my career has been dedicated to translating complex and bureaucratic processes within a system to a more relatable language for community members. This position affords me the opportunity to explore and address inequities across the city of Tulsa.

… a day in the life.

My day starts with a personal morning reflection. Then I cuddle with my children; that grounds me in my “why.” I invest in the leadership development of others so that they can foster a more inclusive city where my children can thrive. The remainder of the day is filled with relationship-building meetings with various organizations, initiatives or amazing individuals that comprise our vibrantly diverse city. Some days I facilitate a session for a program or provide one-on-one check-in calls with our participants. I ignite real change in my community by connecting people and resources.

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… accomplishments and goals.

We have partnered with community organizations to offer diverse programming for targeted areas of our community, such as the Hispanic Leadership Institute and LEAD Together. Many exciting initiatives across our city and state started as community impact projects from the THRIVE program.

I look forward to Leadership Tulsa realizing our community commitment of having people of color represented as 50% of our board and program participants by our 50th anniversary in 2023. I am eager to engage with the community in innovative ways to create access and accountability for these goals.

… the future of Tulsa.

I want an inclusive and equitable Tulsa that fosters creativity and innovation from all sectors, ages and neighborhoods. Something as simple as getting groceries will be accessible to all Tulsans. I want to be able to walk to a grocery store and have access to organic produce and pantry items that represent various cultures. I want to have a city designed in a way that we can make healthier choices that foster physical, mental and environmental health for all residents. I want a city that values our children and elders as powerful change makers, who usher new initiatives and honor our past.

Most importantly, I look forward to an Oklahoma where many of our children navigating these difficult times of the pandemic and racial injustice create and lead new systems that empower future generations of diverse, inclusive and equitable leaders. 

… instincts for philanthropy. 

I have the privilege of serving on the boards for YWCA Tulsa and Met Cares Foundation. Both focus on anti-racism and authentic community partnership. My parents and grandparents have instilled in me the value of investing in mi comunidad. My cultural values and identity are centered around serving others and sharing my gifts, talents and resources with the community. Investing in one another is an investment in our collective future.

Photo by Stephanie Phillips