July 2, 2020

We’re Expanding to Six New Cities to Foster Conversations Across American Political Divides

Today, we’re glad to announce the 2020 expansion of One Small Step Communities. With support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, StoryCorps will provide training and production assistance to six local public radio stations across the United States. This partnership with public media stations anchors our nationwide initiative One Small Step, which facilitates and broadcasts conversations between Americans of opposing viewpoints.

Here are the stations that will be participating in One Small Step Communities in 2020:

Follow us here and sign up for our One Small Step email list for more information about recording dates and locations in these communities.

Dave Isay, Founder & President of StoryCorps said: “The pandemic has only exacerbated the deep divisions in the United States. One Small Step has proven to be a powerful intervention to help people see one another’s humanity. In 2020 when our country faces challenges unlike any other time in our history, One Small Step helps remind us of who we are, and who we can be at our best as a nation.”  

“As Americans continue to grapple with the serious issues dividing our nation and how to effect change, open dialogue has never been more vital to strengthening our civil society,” said Pat Harrison, President and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “CPB is pleased to support StoryCorps’ efforts through One Small Step to provide local public media stations with tools and platforms to directly engage their communities in constructive conversations about the path forward.”

Launched by StoryCorps in 2018 in response to growing division in the country, One Small Step is a nationwide project that provides people who hold different views with the opportunity to take part in facilitated and recorded conversations — specifically, to counteract intensifying political divides and to enable those who disagree to listen to each other with respect. Rather than spark additional political debates, One Small Step encourages answers to questions like, “Was there a moment, event, or person in your life that shaped your political views?” and “What scares you most when you think about the future?”

For the One Small Step Communities project, a separately funded component of StoryCorps’ One Small Step program, two members of each participating station participated in a two-day training led by StoryCorps staff. The stations will receive program support and a customized set of professional recording equipment. Stations will record conversations with community residents of differing political persuasions and selected interviews will be shared across each station’s media platforms. The project will culminate with a series of public listening events, streamed online, in fall 2020. In locations where COVID-19 social distancing requirements remain in place, stations will use StoryCorps’ remote recording platform, which pairs two people for a conversation over video and is hosted by a trained Facilitator.

Public radio stations have played an integral role in helping StoryCorps to realize its aspiration to touch the lives of every American. Since 2005, more than 150 stations in all 50 states have hosted the StoryCorps Mobile Tour, providing local access to a mobile recording booth that travels the country, reaching people of all backgrounds and providing opportunities to capture stories of communities that might otherwise go untold.

One Small Step is supported by a broad coalition of government and philanthropic institutions, including the Fetzer Institute, The Wunderkinder Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Charles Koch Institute. Additional support is provided by the Newman-Tanner Foundation.

View the media announcement here.

Source: SNPR Story Corps