Tulsa Tech Alumna Opens Business to Rekindle the Spirit of Black Wall Street
June 14, 2021
Step onto North Greenwood, and the history of the area will hit you. Paintings, murals and lists of businesses destroyed a century ago line the street. But, there is a new buzz. The Greenwood Rising project and thriving small businesses in the area are looking to rekindle the lost spirit.
Rose Tax Solutions is a business looking to follow in the footsteps of that historic area. Meet owner LaToya Rose, and the first thing you will notice is a bounce in her step and a huge smile. To call her passionate about what Tulsa Tech offers would be an understatement.
“The Accounting program is the reason why I have my tax firm, period,” Rose said with a smile. “To be honest, to have a trade and get a certificate and have a skill, you can graduate with something to make money, not just to be an employee.”
The proud alumna of the Tulsa Tech Accounting program is looking to give back to a community. Her business might have tax solutions in the name, but she says it is way more than that.
“Because of the history and spirit of Greenwood Avenue, circulating our dollars and contributing to stimulating the economy by offering a service or buying it was important for me to open a firm that was not just important for a season,” Rose said.
As the history and understanding of Greenwood grows, Rose says it is about remembering the victims, while also honoring the survivors and the energy that you feel stepping onto the street.
“We are celebrating the spirit of Greenwood,” Rose said with a grin. “The entrepreneurship, the community, the history of thriving.”
Talk with Rose for just a short time, and she will continue to bring up two words that are important to her; ‘community’ and ‘freedom’. Not only the community that you feel among the small businesses on Greenwood Avenue, but also the community Tulsa Tech creates in the classroom.
“The freedom for me is what stands out. I went to Tulsa Tech in the afternoon, so I would wake up looking forward to the afternoon,” Rose said. “For me, the sense of freedom was ‘freedom of time’ and the ‘freedom to make money,’ and that is what inspired me to stick to it and build that skill.”
While it may have been years since she walked the halls of Tulsa Tech’s Peoria Campus, Rose remembers some pointed advice.
“My instructor said, even though you know the complicated stuff, make people comfortable,” Rose recalls.
Advice she uses when clients walk into her business, Rose says it is all about creating a welcoming and empowering environment. She hopes to help further the legacy of “Black Wall Street” and the rebirth of the area.
“Being here on Greenwood and realizing the story is being told, making sure that (people) feel the hope of the future is so important,” Rose said. “Being a financial services company and with the pandemic, we have to help people find their purpose and use that purpose to make money.”
Part of that purpose-driven mission is encouraging young people to seize every opportunity.
“I tell people to look at Tulsa Tech as money because of the opportunity it provides,” Rose said with a smile. “Do you want to leave money on the table? I know I sure don’t, and Tulsa Tech lets you make that money.”