Educating and Empowering for Positive Change
Our multi-platform publication helps our readers address their needs and the needs of their community by providing them news and information that educates, connects and empowers them to act for positive change.
The Community Voice is a trusted source of news and information for the African-American communities of Kansas and the Kansas City metro area. Now in it’s 28th year, The Community Voice is a multi-platform news source and community (civic) partner that provides clear and accessible information on topics of crucial importance to its readers.
To be a news and information source that educates, connects and empowers our readers to make positive change.
We cover news and fill information gaps on issues of importance to our African American audience as a way to empower them to create positive change in their lives and their communities.
Since 1994, The Community Voice has used the power of journalism to inform and empower its readers. The Voice was founded as a monthly print publication in Wichita, KS by Billy Q. and Yvette McCray in Wichita, who recognized the importance of keeping the community informed about local, regional and national issues. The publication was purchased by R.G. Enterprises, Inc., a corporation owned exclusively by members of the U.L. Gooch family, in November 1996. Under the direction of Bonita Gooch, the paper’s editorial and advertising content grew. Ms. Gooch increased the paper’s frequency to bi-weekly and expanded the publication’s reporting and reach. Today, The Voice is a multi-platform publication, connecting with readers via an electronic edition, a state-of-the art website, multiple targeted newsletters, a YouTube channel and active social media streams
The Community Voice’s engagement goes beyond what we say to what we do, with the publications sponsoring several key community projects. Two of our larger projects are:
Financial Freedom Expo An official event of Money Smart Kansas, this one-day free event includes a financial related expo plus financial workshop across several breakout session. The workshops are specifically designed to include topics of interest to people of all ages and economic status. This event is held in collaboration with the Wichita Branch NAACP and a several other key state and local players.
Kansas Black Leadership Council Platform Convention The Community Voice team is a major player in the planning, development and implementation of this convention convened to adopt an annual platform on issues of importance to Kansas’ African-American Community. The Community Voice is the official media partner and Voice editor Bonita Gooch serves as President of the event planning committee.
The Community Voice Team
Bonita Gooch | Editor-in-Chief
Since 1996, Bonita has served as Editor-in-Chief and of The Community Voice newspaper. As the owner, she has guided the Wichita-based publication’s growth in reach across the state of Kansas and into the Kansas City metro area and in a period of decreasing newspaper circulation, she increased the publications to one of the largest non-daily newspapers in Kansas. Bonita has always insisted on providing high-quality journalism focused on the interest and needs of the African-American readers in her distribution areas. Her commitment is to positively enhancing the lives of her readers and their communities. In her spare time, Bonita is an avid tennis player and gardener.
Kurt Oswald | Publisher
Kurt joined The Community Voice team in 2021 as the company’s chief executive. He is responsible for the business side of the company including sales, distribution, and operations. Kurt brings to the company more than a decade of experience with national newspaper holding groups as publisher, general manager and sales manager, most recently as the publisher of the newspaper in Ponca City, Oklahoma as well as the publisher of two community papers in Louisiana. Kurt loves traveling and spending time with his daughters and their families.
Cornell Hill | Sales & Marketing
For the past eight years, Cornell has continually brought dedication and commitment to his job and the customers he serves. Each year, Cornell has increased both the volume and dollar value of both the print and online digital sells. As a tenured account executive, Cornell has built long-lasting and supportive relationships with existing customers and readily takes the time to work with new customers to understand their marketing goals and needs and works to develop a mix of products that best meets their objectives.
Elaine Guillory | Graphics and Office
Elaine is a force that keeps The Community Voice office running smoothly. As our office manager, she handles book keeping, invoicing, bill paying, database management, subscription renewals, and customer – reader and advertiser – inquiries. She also spends many late nights laying out the Voice’s print edition. In the community, Elaine is an active member of the local and state NAACP and also work for years with The Kansas African American Museum and the Wichita Black Arts Festival. The connections she’s built from her community involvement consistently proves beneficial to The Community Voice team.
Jake Martin | Kansas City Reporter
Jacob Martin is a reporter focusing on housing and equity issues. He believes strongly in holding our elected officials and policymakers accountable for the promises they make to our community. He believes the best way to learn about a community is to actively engage with the people in them directly. So, if you see him out, please introduce yourself. Prior to joining our team, he worked as a general assignments reporter with KCUR in Kansas City A Louisville, KY native, he spent seven years living in Brooklyn, NY before moving to KC. He joins us as a Report for America Corps member.
Lucerza “Simone” Garza | Kansas City Reporter
Simone Garza is a reporter focusing on economic mobility in the African American community. She is passionate about the Black and Brown community evolving into entrepreneurship. She is a Iowa native and a recent graduate from the University of Iowa with a major in mass communications and journalism with a minor in philosophy. During her free time, she likes to cook, paint, write poetry, dance and spend time with her pup, Zeus. She joins us as a Report for America Corps member.
P.J. Griekspoor | Wichita Reporter
P.J. Griekspoor is a semi-retired veteran journalist with 55 years experience in writing and editing in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Wichita.
She spent 18 years at the Wichita Eagle as an editor, designer and reporter covering everything from weather to military affairs to agriculture before becoming editor of Kansas Farmer from 2008 to 2021.
She is passionate about politics, conservation, history, gardening and her kids and grandkids.
She has an office wall full of national writing awards, is a past president of the North American Agricultural Journalists and is an American Agricultural Editors’ Association master writer.
At the community voice, she is a general assignment reporter focusing on Wichita news.