About the Community Voice

 

Now in its 27th year, The Community Voice is the leading, most-trusted voice of Kansas' African-American community, and has extended its reach to become a progressive voice across the state. The multi-platform publication educates and inspires its readers with regular articles on finance and health, informs them with community and regional news, and entertains them through a calendar of events, social coverage and contests. The Community Voice provides additional value by supplying our audience with content that empowers them with information to improve the quality of their lives. The publication digs deeper into issues through a series of special sections including topics like: the State of Black Kansas, Higher Education, Black History, Personal Finance, even You and the Law.

History

The Community Voice was founded in 1994 by Billy Q. McCray and his wife Yvette. The first issue was published in April 1995. In a period in advance of the internet, McCray, a former County Commissioner and a State Representative, 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.

Community Engagement

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

Bonita serves both as Editor-in-Chief and Executive Publisher of The Community Voice newspaper.  It’s a position she’s proudly held since 1996.  She’s committed to providing a quality product and to meeting and delivering on the issues, concerns, loves, and accomplishments of the community.  An avid tennis player and gardener, friends know where to find Bonita when she’s not behind her desk or our covering a story or event for The Community Voice.

 

Kurt Oswald | Publisher

Kurt came to the Community Voice in May 2021 in the role of Publisher - his background has been with other national newspaper holding groups as publisher, general manager and sales manager.  Most recently in Ponca City, OK as the Publisher and Louisiana as publisher of two small community papers.

 

Jazzlyn Johnson | Reporter, Kansas City Area

Jazzlyn "Jazzie" is a Report for America corps member covering Kansas City's African-American community for The Community Voice. Johnson believes it is her duty to tell important stories that are not often told and bring empowerment to under-covered communities. Her passions include learning and writing about racial justice and environmental justice issues, exploring the outdoors, and portrait photography.

 

Malcolm Carter | Reporter, Wichita Area

Malcolm Carter covers African-American communities with a focus on the criminal justice system for The Community Voice, a statewide publication based in Wichita, KS. Previously, he assisted in the research and implementation of media strategies for the Association of Black Organizations in Detroit, his hometown. Malcolm is a 2021 graduate of Hampton University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.  While there, Malcolm was the project director of the athletic marketing team, responsible for planning and developing projects supporting "Respect The H," a TV show featuring university sports. Malcolm traveled with the teams and the university's award-winning Marching Force Band, documenting games and performances from the sidelines. 

 

Cornell Hill | Sales & Marketing

Cornell has been with The Community Voice since 2013. Although his background is in accounting, he has the acumen to sale advertising. As in any small business, he wears a few hats, and helping callers with the myriad of problems they encounter is what he does best. "My favorite call was with an individual who wanted information on how to get some charges off his criminal record. I directed him to an attorney who now sponsors an annual expungement day in April." 

 

Elaine Guillory | Graphics and Office 

 

Glen Sharp | Graphic Design & Copy Editor

Glen is a professional writer, editor and graphic designer. He has co-authored five non-fiction books, including the memoir of African-American Aviation Hall of Fame inductee and retired Kansas state senator U.L. "Rip" Gooch, "Black Horizons: One Pilot's Story in the Post-Tuskegee Era."