Not more than a week ago, I was putting the finishing touches on the Spring edition of The Journal, the Kansas Leadership Center’s quarterly magazine. In the few days since, everything changed. It’s now the COVID-19 era.

We’ve shelved that edition for the foreseeable future to focus on covering the leadership challenges being created by the coronavirus outbreak and the responses in Kansas. Instead of printing a magazine, a group of Journal contributors met remotely to outline a plan for providing coverage via email newsletter and, the magazine’s website. It’s a new approach for us, but it became an obvious choice in trying to cover the rapidly changing dynamics affecting civic life in Kansas right now.

What’s changed for The Journal is a blip compared with the on-the-fly changes others across the state have dealt with over the past week, most notably after Gov. Laura Kelly closed K-12 school buildings for the remainder of the spring semester. In fact, I’d imagine that just about everybody reading this is living and working in a new not-so-normal world that almost no one has totally figured out.

Getting a better grasp on the quandaries facing the health care, governmental, education, business, nonprofit and faith sectors will be The Journal’s focus over at least the next six to eight weeks. The goal is to explore what Kansans are learning as they respond to COVID-19 era and the disruptions it has created while fostering an understanding of what civic leadership can look like in an environment where public health concerns are driving us to be socially isolated from one another.

To do that, The Journal needs your help. We need you to relate the challenges you are facing personally and in your organization. We want to know how you’re taking care of yourself and those around you, and what advice you would give to others. What losses are you and those closest to you experiencing, and how well are they being spoken to?

Answer those questions and more by completing this Google form: Your suggestions will help us develop articles and influence the topics we cover. To help The Journal document this historic moment, we’re also asking you to share photos and videos showing how your life has changed or how you’re responding, whether it’s attending church online, getting groceries delivered to your house or working out of a new, makeshift home office. These changes matter, and we want to show how Kansans are adapting to the challenges they are facing.

The last seven days have brought profound uncertainty across the state, and it’s hard to predict what twists and turns the weeks to come might bring. The Journal’s goal is to provide you with accurate information to help you understand the leadership responses to the pandemic and explore what you might learn from them that could be useful in your own situation. We hope to cultivate a community of Kansans discussing how to advance the common good in the most extraordinary of times.

A week ago, I wouldn’t have imagined that I would be working from home and have no idea when I will next step foot in my office. I don’t know what the coming weeks will bring. But I believe that even when we’re apart, we are still in this together, and as long as we have that, none of us is truly alone.

Send Us Your Photos

Social distancing in Wichita

Stephanie Boughton Werner on a recent social distancing “date” with her parents, Harrison “Bud” and Pat Boughton. (courtesy photo)

Help Document Life in the COVID-19 Era

Stephanie Boughton Werner couldn’t enjoy a recent “date” with her parents, Harrison “Bud” and Pat Boughton, in their Wichita independent living community because of restrictions on visitors. So she did the next best thing to enjoy a day of nice weather with her family.

“We’ve been delivering groceries to their patio and saying ‘hello’ at a distance, but today we were blessed with nice weather to sit at a safe distance outdoors and enjoy a glass of wine to visit and laugh!! Small blessings mean the most!!” Boughton Werner wrote of her visit.All around Kansas people are figuring out how to make life go on in the COVID-19 era. The Journal would love to see how you are adapting to the new normal. Please send us your photographs or videos showing how you are living and working the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re looking for interesting images showing how you are attending church, engaging in family activities, taking classes or teaching, working in a home office, getting groceries and so on. We hope to document this unique moment in history and show how Kansans are making sure that life goes on.

iPhone/smart phone photo submissions are fine. But here a few tips from Jeff Tuttle, The Journal’s award-winning photographer:

1. Watch for backlit images.
2. Shooting toward windows makes it hard to see a subject.
3. Get close to your subject but not so close that it’s hard to tell what they are doing in the photo.
4. Please attach a phone number and email so that we can follow-up with you for details.
5. Please send full resolution images.

You may text your files to your files to 316-202-5440 or email them to

Chris Green is the managing editor of The Journal.

The Journal, the print and digital magazine of the Kansas Leadership Center, is publishing a digital newsletter that explores what is working, what isn’t working and what’s being learned during the response to COVID-19. To receive twice-a-week updates, subscribe here:

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