The Community Voice is proud to have been selected to participate in the Facebook Sustainability Accelerator. Part of the #FacebookJournalismProject’s recent investment on diversity and entrepreneurship, the Sustainability Accelerator will offer intensive training in essentials to building a sustainable media business and mentorship to 20 U.S. news organizations who are owned or led by people of color. 

The group was selected by Facebook staff, International Center for Journalists staff and Accelerator coaches from more than 300 applications from around the United States based on their demonstrated impact on their community, their commitment to the program’s requirements and their readiness to pursue their biggest business opportunities.

“We are honored to partner with this impressive group of publishers, whose newsrooms make a difference in their communities and serve as models for our industry,” said Joyce Barnathan, the president of ICFJ, an organization with global experience helping news media become stronger financially. “Without question, the work they do is critical, and an investment in their long term success is an investment in stronger communities.”

Half of the group is composed of Black-owned, Black-led publishers, including some of the nation’s oldest Black newspapers as well as digitally native organizations. The Community Voice was the only paper selected for the program from Kansas or the Kansas City area. 

“We are so pleased to have been selected to participate in this program with some of the most respected Black newspapers in the country, including The St. Louis American, The Atlanta Voice, The Charlotte Post, The Miami Times, and the Tennessee Tribune,” said Bonita Gooch, editor-in-chief of The Community Voice. 

“I am excited about the amazing media organizations that will be joining this inaugural Sustainability Accelerator,” said Sara Lomax-Reese, President of WURD Radio in Philadelphia and program lead for this Accelerator program. “We are in a moment when Black- and Brown-owned and led media is absolutely essential to the future of this nation. This is an opportunity to provide skills and resources to help these organizations continue to grow, innovate and lead.”

Two thirds of the participants are from the U.S. Midwest and South, areas that have historically received less investment than their colleagues on the coasts.

“The sustainability of the participant organizations, and the sustainability of all media serving marginalized people, is paramount. The legacy of Black-led media in the South is unmatched, with Black news organizations having played a pivotal role in Southern-born freedom movements from abolition to civil rights,” said Cierra Hinton, executive director at Scalawag Magazine and a coach in the program. “The Facebook Journalism Project’s support of South-based participants enables the continuation of that legacy at a pivotal moment, as Black people in this country boldly lead the fight for justice yet again.”

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