The Wichita Beacon is excited to welcome the newest members to our team of Community Engagement Bureau Representatives. These four representatives, who come from a variety of backgrounds and neighborhoods across Wichita, have deep local expertise, community connections and love for the place we all call home.
The Wichita Beacon’s Community Engagement Bureau is a journalism lab designed to reimagine local media. We equip our community representatives — residents of Wichita, not professional journalists — with the skills and resources necessary to engage in critical public conversations and produce information that directly addresses community needs. Our community representatives, who are paid for their work, interview community members, attend events to ask what people think local news is missing and help guide our reporting.
The ultimate goal of our Community Engagement Bureau is to give all communities the tools to eliminate information inequity. We’re excited to work towards that mission with our latest group of community representatives:
Arionna Tull loves Wichita! She currently works as a Community Connector with Health Care Associates. They are continually learning skills and using them to work to support community development. Passionate about justice for all, she looks forward to engaging with the community and ensuring their voices are shared through The Beacon.
Marquan Teetz, or MT, is passionate about motivating youth to utilize their voices for the change they want to see in the world. He began his journey advocating for justice for his little brother Cedric “CJ” Lofton, who was killed while in the foster care system.
Kara Billie is the owner of Shop Risky, a clothing store, and has collaborated with celebrity stylists to see her work on artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Karrachue Tran and DaniLeigh. She created the Risk Taker Social Club, hosting events promoting diversity and entrepreneurship. Kara now uplifts local businesses through PR, marketing and project management.
Tracey C. Mason emerged from 10 years in prison and became a mentor for at-risk youth. After returning to his hometown of Wichita, Tracey opened CHD (Condition Heart Discipline) Boxing Club, a safe place for kids and adults, and began promoting his “gloves over guns” philosophy. He also advocates for justice in the case of Cedric “CJ” Lofton’s in-custody death.
The Wichita Beacon’s Community Engagement Bureau is led by Kristen Nicole Powell. This cohort will serve as The Wichita Beacon’s community representatives and help our newsroom continue our efforts.
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