We Belong to Each Other: New StoryCorps Animated Shorts
The ties that bind us, the stories that remind us. This May, we’re releasing our new animated season: “We Belong to Each Other,” a collection of stories that show how we care for one another through word and deed.
Check in each Thursday to watch a new StoryCorps animated short about family, community, and love.
Crescenciana “Lola” Tan, originally from the Philippines, came to California to help raise her grandkids. Her daughter Olivia and grandson Kenneth came to StoryCorps to share some of the lessons she imparted and the memories they cherish from Lola’s storied life.
Read the full transcript here.
Watch our new animated short on Thursday, May 13.
An uncle and his nephew with stars in their eyes.
Want to watch more? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to discover new voices every day and engage with our wonderful community. Or sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week!
Teacher Appreciation Week #GoogleDoodle Featuring StoryCorps Stories
We are kicking off Teacher Appreciation Week 2021 in partnership with Google to honor educators and highlight the voices of teachers and students.
You can find five StoryCorps stories in an interactive, animated Google Doodle here. These stories feature voices from across the country, and touch on everything from the struggles a young man faced as one of the first Black students to integrate his high school to two teachers reflecting on how COVID-19 has affected their work. The common thread across all of them is the incredible and lasting impact that these educators have had on their students’ lives.
Listen to all five original stories below.
From the first roll call of the 1964 school year, Dr. William Lynn Weaver was targeted and harassed by the faculty of his previously all-white high school. Then a former teacher stepped in and saved his life. Read the full transcript here.
#ThankAnEducator this May and June
This Doodle kicks off our #ThankAnEducator effort. This May and June, StoryCorps wants to spark a moment of gratitude for the educators who have been working tirelessly to adapt to our collective new normal while supporting and teaching students of all ages and needs.
It hasn’t been easy, but educators have continued to change millions of lives every day in virtual and in-person classrooms. Honor an educator in your life with a StoryCorps interview and show them just how much they mean to you. You can record a conversation remotely using StoryCorps Connect, or record in person with the free StoryCorps App. Find out more about our Thank an Educator effort here.
To discover more stories featuring teachers and students, explore a collection of interviews from the 2021 State Teachers of the Year. You can also read reflections on recording by Tabatha Rosproy, 2020 National Teacher of the Year, and listen to her conversation with her best friend about one of their favorite teachers here.
Thank you to the participants for sharing your stories with us, and thank you to teachers across the country for the tireless work and support over the past year.
Thank you to our partners at Google for celebrating teachers during a time when their work and dedication has never been more important.
StoryCorps is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.
My One Small Step Experience
Since StoryCorps began piloting One Small Step in 2018, more than 1,500 people in 40 cities have taken part in the project. What is it like to have a conversation with a stranger? Sara Coffman, who recorded with Sarah Nadeau in Shreveport, Louisiana, in December 2020 recounted her experience.
When I first sat down in Shreveport, LA to have a One Small Step conversation, I had no idea what to expect. Other than having the same first name, my conversation partner and I seemed very different and had starkly different views.
Sarah and I were asked what moment in our life defined our political views. When we each told our story, it became clear that our different backgrounds and life experiences informed how we think and see the world.
As I felt the conversation open up, any defensiveness melted away, and we were able to truly share our life experiences with one another. And, though we didn’t suddenly agree on everything, we were both able to look at the world and one another’s opinions with fresh eyes.
Over the years I have met so many different people in different places, and I have relished the opportunity to share my experience and hear from others about theirs.
That day and conversation helped me see that when we listen to one another, no matter how different we may seem to be, we realize that we are all human. The One Small Step experience helped to cultivate the sense of the joy and wonder that happens when we sit down face-to-face, and look each other in the eye — no yelling, no distraction, just a wide-open heart.
Conversations like this are a courageous act, and it can be easy to feel defensive or frightened of being judged. But, this one step — this one conversation — helps us grow, learn to be more open and mindful, and brings into focus just how amazing our world really is once we see just how connected we all are.
When you walk away from a One Small Step interview, you will be changed. And there is a good chance you will be open to having many more conversations just like this.
I encourage you to take the next step.
Listen to Sara and Sarah’s One Small Step Interview
Recorded by Red River Radio in Shreveport, LA
Announcing the 2021 Military Voices Virtual Tour
This year, StoryCorps is partnering with Veteran Service Organizations across the country as part of our 2021 Military Voices Initiative Virtual tour, made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Through virtual tour stops, community listening events online, and other activities, we are honoring veterans and members of the military community across the country by recording and preserving their stories.
Millions of men and women have served in the armed services, while millions more family members have stood behind them at home. The military community knows well the challenges of multiple deployments, combat-injuries, and long-awaited homecomings. Yet few civilians truly understand the complex realities faced by our troops and their loved ones.
The Military Voices Initiative acknowledges this notion and contributes to StoryCorps’ diverse collection by recording and preserving the stories of veterans of all wars, service members, and military families. The tour offers an opportunity for them to share their experiences in their own words, which may be preserved for posterity in the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Since its launch in 2012, the Military Voices Initiative has preserved 2,800 of these stories, some of which are available to listen to here.
“Public media honors and supports those who serve our country by telling their stories of commitment, courage and leadership,” said Pat Harrison, CPB president and CEO. “CPB is proud to be a longtime supporter of StoryCorps and their work to ensure that these stories are recorded and made accessible to future generations.”
The Military Voices Tour, which, due to COVID-19 safety precautions will be entirely virtual this year, will record with residents in three U.S. cities, including Columbia, SC (April 12–23), Seattle, WA (May 10–21), and Austin, TX (June 14–25). Reservations are free and available to the public, and can be booked online at storycorps.org/military-voices. The Initiative also provides an opportunity for civilians to engage with veterans and service members in their communities through virtual listening events in each city. The event in Columbia, SC took place on April 6, and events will follow in Seattle, WA on April 29 and Austin, TX on June 8.
|Columbia, SC||South Carolina Public Radio||April 12 – 23, 2021|
|Seattle, WA||KUOW||May 10 – 21, 2021|
|Austin, TX||KUT||June 14 – 25, 2021|
StoryCorps fosters an environment of comfort and intimacy for its interviews, with a trained facilitator guiding participants throughout the process. For the virtual tour, the interview process and experience are conducted via StoryCorps Virtual, a browser-based platform that allows both participants to see and hear one another during their conversation. Participants are joined and guided remotely by a facilitator. After each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a complimentary copy of their interview, and a second copy is archived at the Library of Congress with the participant’s permission.
Founded in 2003 by award-winning documentary producer and MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay, StoryCorps has traveled to every corner of the country to record interviews in the organization’s effort to create a world where we listen closely to each other and recognize the beauty, grace and poetry in the lives and stories we find all around us.
“Throughout a turbulent year, our military veterans and their families’ courage and sacrifice remain constant. We honor their lives by recording and amplifying these stories and preserving them for generations to come,” said Dave Isay, Founder and President of StoryCorps.
In each city on the tour, StoryCorps partners with the local public radio station, which will air a selection of the interviews recorded and, in many cases, create special programs around the project. StoryCorps may also share edited versions of select interviews collected throughout the tour via its NPR broadcasts, podcast, animated shorts, and digital platforms
Learn more about StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative.
Celebrating AAPI Voices
Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities encompass a wide range of cultures and lived experiences, and each one is an important part of the American narrative. Their stories are American stories, and their voices deserve to be heard. That’s why we’re highlighting a few of the stories from our AAPI participants, to help people find connection and understanding by amplifying their words.
Whose voices do you want to see included in the narratives of Asian American and Pacific Islander history? By sitting down with someone you love for a StoryCorps conversation, you’re showing them that their stories matter and preserving them for generations.
StoryCorps Connect makes it possible to interview a loved one remotely and then upload it to the StoryCorps archive at the Library of Congress.
Strong-willed Kay Wang allowed her son and granddaughter to ask her a few brief questions about her adventures in life — from disobeying her mother and rebuffing suitors while growing up in China to late-life escapades as a detective for Bloomingdale’s.
Alagappa Rammohan has amassed enough books over the course of his life to fill a small library. He shares his love of the written word with his daughter, Paru Venkat, and his plans to donate all of his books to his hometown in India.
Kenneth Tan celebrates the life of grandmother, Crescenciana Tan, whom he called Lola. He remembers Lola’s hard work and unwavering commitment to her family.
Muhammad Faridi talks to his father about what it was like to grow up as the son of a NYC cab driver. Although he used to be embarrassed to talk about his family, Muhammad learned to be proud of his father’s work.
Willie Ito dreamed of becoming an animator, but his dreams were put on hold when his family was sent to a Japanese American internment camp. At StoryCorps, Willie reflects on his internment and his career as an animator at Disney
When he was 10 years old, Shig Yabu and his family were evacuated from their home and relocated to an internment camp. He remembers what defined his experience as an internee — adopting and caring for a bird named Maggie.
Kay Lee and John Nordeen became fast friends while serving together in the same Army platoon in Vietnam. After losing touch, they reconnected to reflect on the early days of their friendship.
Susan Ahn Cuddy was the first Asian American woman in the Navy and the first woman gunnery officer teaching air combat tactics. Her children, Flip and Christine, remember her as a tough, yet loving mother.
Your support helps StoryCorps create opportunities for connection, until we can meet again in person — and beyond. Please give today.
As seen on ABC News: Take One Small Step
If you are worried about the divides and the chaos in the country, if you are tired of the shouting, if you are asking “What can I do to help?” here is one answer: Take One Small Step with StoryCorps.