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Keiona Williamson

Keiona Williamson
JSK Journalism Fellow
Sacramento, California

Keiona Williamson is the founder of DRIP, an espresso cafe in Sacramento that moonlights as a hub for civic engagement, driving participation in local democracy from its community of customers. 

Keiona started her career in journalism as the executive assistant to the Publisher of The New York Times Sunday Magazine. There she worked on the advertising and expanded distribution strategy for The 1619 Project. It showed her the potential of deeply reported journalism led by Black writers, centering on working-class audiences, with support from Black advertising clients and donors to drive readership among audiences traditionally ignored by mainstream media. 

Keiona went on to build The Equity Lab, a first-of-its-kind initiative for The Sacramento Bee. The Lab was meant to diversify the paper’s historically white, wealthy audience. As a Sacramento native, Keiona is invested in finding and championing solutions to the Central Valley’s challenge with news desserts and mainstream news outlets that are not meeting the needs of the region’s rapidly diversifying constituents.