KCUR Creates Community Engagement Team

Effort for broad community dialogue funded by William T. Kemper Foundation

KCUR-FM 89.3 has received a two-year $320,000 grant from the William T. Kemper Foundation—Commerce Bank, Trustee to develop a community engagement team. The three-person team will be led by Ron Jones, formerly program director for WDET in Detroit.

The community engagement team will become a national prototype for fostering dialogue about important issues. Jones will join the KCUR staff on Sept. 16 as the Director of Community Engagement. This will be Jones’ second stint with KCUR. He served as the station’s program director from 1988-93.  His experience also includes positions such as Vice President of Programming at WBEZ Chicago Public Radio; Program Director of WGBH-FM in Boston; and General Manager of WERS-FM in Boston.

KCUR is currently hiring a Community Engagement Reporter, responsible for creating and coordinating broadcast content for community engagement purposes; and a Social Media Producer, responsible for creating, coordinating, and sharing online content for community engagement. The team will coordinate community conversations on-air, online, and in person. Topics of interest include the arts, entrepreneurship, neighborhoods and community diversity.

KCUR is the NPR affiliate member station in Kansas City, Mo., and is a service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Since its creation, KCUR has provided programming which informs, entertains and enriches the community. The grant will help enhance that mission.

“A community that is engaged in healthy dialogue is essential to our democracy. It is our obligation as a public media outlet to step in where we can to help generate and advance this dialogue,” Nico Leone, general manager of KCUR, said.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, and celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2013. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

About The William T. Kemper Foundation
The William T. Kemper Foundation—Commerce Bank, Trustee, was established in 1989 following Mr. Kemper’s death. The foundation is dedicated to continuing Mr. Kemper’s lifelong interest in improving the human condition and quality of life. The Foundation supports Midwest communities and concentrates on initiatives in education, health and human services, civic improvement and the arts.

# # #

This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).



Tags: , , .
  • Recent UMKC News

    $20 Million Scholarship Article in The Kansas City Star

    KC Scholars partnership also in U.S. News and World Report … Read more

    Geosciences Professor’s Research Cited in New York Times

    Fengpeng Sun co-authored study on California wildfire seasons The 2015 … Read more

    Bloch Faculty Interviewed on NBC Nightly News

    Brent Never teaches about Kansas City’s racial dividing line Never … Read more