REGISTER NOW: The Kansas City Defender’s first-ever “Young Black Writer’s Social”

The Kansas City Defender believes that youth are integral to Black liberation, and that is why we’re proud to announce our first-ever Young Black Writer’s Social.

PRESS RELEASE – In partnership with Charlotte Street, The Kansas City Defender is proud to announce our first-ever Young Black Writer’s Social (supported by the Urban League of Greater Kansas City and KC Rainbow Tour).

Black Youth Are Our Future

The Kansas City Defender believes that youth are integral to Black liberation, and it is, dually, this belief that has led us to our organization being comprised of writers, community organizers, friends and family belonging to Generation Z.

With that in mind, we are proud to announce our first-ever Young Black Writer’s Social. Hosted inside Charlotte Street’s Stern Theatre, this event will be a chance for writers (aged 13-25) to build relationships with their peers across Kansas City and indulge in community conversation on writing as a liberatory art tool.

The Event

Attendees of this historic event will be able to:

  • meet other young Black writers across the Kansas City Metro,
  • hear from a panel of esteemed media professionals,
  • participate in group discussions on written word and its transformative power,
  • and learn more about being published with The Kansas City Defender.

All attendees who RSVP will also receive a complimentary Defender tote bag stuffed with materials from our community partners.

Special Guests

Dominick Williams


Dominick Williams is a photojournalism and documentary reportage photographer based in Kansas City, Kansas. In the past three years, Dominick has produced work for The New York Times, The Wall Journal, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and The Kansas City Defender, to name a few. Dominick’s work carries the weight of emotion, reality, and passion while allowing the subjects he captures to remain a true representation of humanity and the environment in which we live.

Mili Mansaray


Mili Mansaray is a Sierra Leonean-American journalist from Columbia, South Carolina. In 2022, she joined The Kansas City Beacon as the housing, labor, and infrastructure reporter. Mili graduated from New York University two years prior with a bachelor’s degree in digital journalism, Africana studies and Spanish. Since graduating, Mili has freelanced with various publications — covering a range of topics from interior design to housing insecurity, racial segregation, voter rights, and more.

Chad Onianwa


Chad Onianwa is a writer and designer based in KCMO, originally from Wichita, KS with a background in arts & culture writing and broadcast journalism. Their primary interests are around visual communications, the connections between the global and the local, and how we determine value. These topics are consolidated in projects like region journal (@regionjournal), of which they’re a founding editor and designer. These days, Chad’s writing is focused on conversations around creative labor, the local Arts Industry, and how these issues connect to Kansas City’s political landscape.

Cori Smith


Cori Smith, the visionary force behind BLK + BRWN. , a Wyandotte County native, advocate for storytelling, and a fierce supporter for literary activism. Graduating from Clark Atlanta, she transitioned from nonprofit to creating an inclusive haven. Fueled by a fervent devotion to centering Black and Brown narratives, the bookstore was birthed BLK + BRWN in 2021—honoring Juneteenth, a day of emancipation. Cori’s unwavering dedication thrives as she amplifies marginalized voices, forging an enduring legacy in literary empowerment.

Don’t miss out on this historic event! Less than 40 tickets are available.


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