About the Community Voice

 

Now in its 25th 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 Voice Team
Bonita Gooch - Editor-in-Chief
Bonita Gooch serves both as editor-in-chief and 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.
Elaine Guillory - Graphic Design & Booking 
    
Cornell Hill - Marketing & Sales
Cornell Hill 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." 
  
Glen Sharp - Graphic Design, Social Media & Website
Glen Sharp 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."
 
Natania Watie - Reporter, Social Media & Website
Nia Watie grew up admiring and reading The Community Voice; she became a community reporter in May 2019. It is her passion and privilege to work for a quality news publication, based in her hometown. In addition to telling the community's stories, she is an author and publisher of independant literary works. Ms. Watie is fond of video journalism and hopes to create a platform in which she can broadcast real stories.  
 
Jazzlyn Johnson - Reporter
Jazzlyn "Jazzie" Johnson 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.
Carlot Ponds - Reporter
Carlota is a native Wichitan currently living in Newton. She discovered her love of journalistic writing while attending University of California - San Diego where she co-edited The People's Voice newspaper. She is excited to bring skills honed while working with The Los Angeles Sentinel and The Wichita Eagle to projects for The Community Voice.