November 16, 2010 was the one-year anniversary of the first StoryCorps Atlanta broadcast on WABE’s City Café. To mark the occasion, we invited Atlanta Alumni and Community Partners to celebrate our first anniversary. Fittingly, John Lemley, the host of WABE’s City Café, was the MC for the evening.
The evening began with opening remarks by John Weatherford, Chief Operating Officer of WABE, and a special message from Dave Isay, Founder and Executive Director of StoryCorps.
We listened to several StoryCorps Atlanta stories that evening, starting with the very first story that aired a year ago, a conversation between mother and daughter, Joyce and Errin Haines.
City Council member and StoryCorps Alumnus Kwanza Hall talked about his experiencing interviewing his mother. While he had known about his father’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, at StoryCorps, he learned about his mother’s role.
One participant, Kiplyn Primus, has interviewed ten friends and family members, including her father, mother, aunt, sister, friend, classmate, and best friend. She spoke about why she keeps returning to StoryCorps and encouraged everyone to bring a loved one and record their story.
Cindi Johnson, Executive Director of Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse, described her experience working with StoryCorps Atlanta as a Community Partner.
Then we switched gears to pay tribute to Lillie Love, our beloved Facilitator who passed away this summer. Her co-worker, Anthony Knight spoke of their first meeting and how they grew to be friends. Lillie’s very first pair of participants, Aqualyn Laury and Randy Walls, described how Lillie was able to encourage Randy to open up and tell his story. “Lillie was able to pierce his defenses with encouraging words,” she said.
Another participant, Renea Winchester read the letter that she sent to StoryCorps upon hearing of Lillie’s passing. “It’s rare in this hurried world to encounter someone who instantly makes you feel significant,” she read, “Lillie Love was that kind of person.”
The StoryCorps Atlanta staff presented Lillie’s sister, Alberta Love, with a plaque commemorating Lillie’s contributions to StoryCorps Atlanta.
After the program, guests mingled and enjoyed desserts provided by Marjan Yavari,, owner of Tasty Pastry. She and her daughter, Leila, recorded a StoryCorps conversation at the Atlanta International School. Thanks to our attendees and to everyone who has helped make StoryCorps Atlanta a success in its first year!