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Join #TheGreatListen in Five Simple Steps

As people across the United States come together to celebrate family, community, and togetherness, StoryCorps would like to be a part of your holiday season. We recognize the importance of sharing stories and listening, especially within communities to strengthen them. The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a way to do this.

What is The Great Thanksgiving Listen?

In 2015, StoryCorps launched The Great Thanksgiving Listen, a national initiative that encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to create a piece of oral history as a part of the United States. This is done by recording an interview with an elder, mentor, friend, family or someone they admire.

Anyone can be a part of #TheGreatListen by following these five easy steps:

1. Create a StoryCorps Account

If you are recording with someone in the same room, download our App from the App Store and sign up. If you are recording with someone in a different location, create an account for our virtual recording platform at archive.storycorps.org.

2. Interview Planning and Preparation

All you’ll need is a partner, some prep time, and a quiet place. Your partner can be anyone you’d like to get to know better. You can choose your interview questions from question lists provided in StoryCorps Connect, or you can write your own. Arrange a time when both you and your partner will be relaxed and won’t be interrupted.

3. Have a Conversation

If you are using the App to record, follow the prompts in the App. If you are recording remotely, log in at StorycorpsConnect.org. Then, let the conversation flow! Listen closely, and let your chosen questions guide the discussion, not control it. Make sure you ask follow-up questions. You never know what unexpected and wonderful new things you will learn about a person — no matter how well you think you know them.

4. Preserve it for History: Enter Photo, Title, and Keywords

When you’re done with your conversation, click “Stop Recording,” and then, “Save Interview.” Enter a descriptive title, summary of your conversation, keywords, and photo. These will make it easier for you and others to find your interview in the future.

5. Share Your Story

Select the privacy settings that feel right to you. Share your interview with the world, or save it for friends and family. It’s your choice!

Since the start of this initiative, thousands of people from across the United States have participated in #TheGreatListen. With permission, interviews become part of the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Preserve your own unique oral history with a loved one and make the holidays a time of intergenerational sharing.


Want to learn more about how you can make the most out of your StoryCorps conversations? Sign up for our StoryCorps in the Classroom mailing list for tips, tricks, and resources to bring #TheGreatListen to your dinner table or classroom.

Between Two Worlds: New StoryCorps Animated Shorts

This September, we’re releasing stories about migration, self-acceptance, and life and death in our brand-new animated season: “Between Two Worlds.” Watch a new animation every week and explore the moments of great transition that help teach us who we are.

A Life of Honor

Joseph Patton joined the Navy in 1955, during a time when it was illegal for service members to be openly gay. At StoryCorps, he remembers serving in silence while also reflecting on the beauty and joy that love has brought to his life.


Man of Steel

To Ken Kobus, the steel mill was always a part of his life. His father, John Kobus, dedicated 40 years of his career as a steelmaker. Towards the end of John’s life, he spent it bedridden in hospice care, motioning and manipulating the air as if he was still making steel. At StoryCorps, Ken sits down with his friend Ron Barraf to honor John’s legacy.


A Piece of Home

In 1998, a violent conflict forced Najat Hamza to flee her home in Oromia, a regional state in Ethiopia. She recalls the night she said goodbye to her mother before she, her father, and two siblings left for Kenya. Najat eventually settled down in Minnesota, but she still longs for a place she left behind. She came to StoryCorps to reflect on her journey and share what home means to her.

With a landmass of 136,560 square miles and more than 35 million people, Oromia is Ethiopia’s largest regional state. Its distinct agro-climatic zones—arid/dry, tropical/jungle, and temperate—contribute to the area’s physiographic diversity. It is home to the capital city of Addis Ababa, the Bale mountains, and has coffee farms to the west and south of the region.

Like the diverse climate, Oromia is home to many ethnic groups. In certain areas, diversity of language, traditions, and socioeconomic stratification have been sources of tension that caused a political divide among some groups.


Want to listen to more StoryCorps stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of September 11

In 2005, in partnership with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, StoryCorps launched the September 11 Initiative. The goal of the project is to record at least one story commemorating each life lost during the attacks on September 11, 2001 and the February 26, 1993 World Trade Center Bombing.

This year, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, StoryCorps is releasing two new animated shorts highlighting the voices of those impacted by this tragedy, “September 12th” and “Father Mychal’s Blessing.” These new animations are part of a rich body of stories from the September 11 Initiative, which includes conversations with family members, colleagues, and friends who wish to commemorate the events of September 11.

These StoryCorps interviews are archived in the StoryCorps Archive in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and are also part of a special collection at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum.


Father Mychal’s Blessing

On 9/11, Father Mychal Judge, beloved chaplain to the NYC Fire Department, was killed during the attack on the World Trade Center while offering spiritual support, becoming the first certified fatality of the 9/11 attacks. His friend, Father Michael Duffy, read the sermon at his funeral. He remembers Father Mychal’s endearing mannerisms, constant positivity, and profound impact on everyone he knew.
Read the full transcript here.

September 12th

On 9/11, Vaughn Allex checked in two passengers arriving late for their flight. He learned later that they were two of the hijackers of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. He recalls the toll it took on him.
Read the full transcript here.


We will also be releasing a two-part podcast episode that shares first-hand reflections on 9/11. The first part, a collaboration with Consider This, looks at the lasting toll of 9/11 on U.S. civilians, U.S. veterans, and Afghan citizens, and will be published on Friday, September 10. Part two will go live on 9/11. Subscribe to the StoryCorps podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

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From StoryCorps and Consider This: The Lasting Toll Of 9/11
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From StoryCorps and Consider This: The Lasting Toll Of 9/11

In this episode of the StoryCorps podcast, we teamed up with NPR’s daily afternoon podcast, Consider This, to bring you stories from some of the people whose lives were forever changed by September 11 and its aftermath.


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“I opened up the back door of that church to see these hundreds of eyes all staring back at me, knowing where I had been.”
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Joe Dittmar

Joe Dittmar recounts making his way back home on September 11, 2001 after surviving the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Read the full transcript here.

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"He gave me the joys of motherhood, and the pains of motherhood."
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Salman Hamdani

Talat Hamdani remembers her son, an EMT and NYPD cadet who died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 as a first responder and was wrongfully accused of having terrorist links.
Read the full transcript here.

She Was the One

When Richie Pecorella met Karen Juday, she captured his heart and changed his life. They were engaged when she was killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Read the full transcript here.

John and Joe

The late John Vigiano Sr., a retired FDNY captain, honors his sons — John Jr., also a firefighter, and Joe, a police detective — who were killed while saving others on September 11, 2001.
Read the full transcript here.

Sean Rooney

Beverly Eckert shares her final conversation with her husband, Sean Rooney, before he died in the south tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Read the full transcript here.

story
"We were so close that it was like just being...one person."
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Richie Palazzolo

Ronnie and Richie Palazzolo were identical twins who did everything together, including working at the World Trade Center. They were both there on the morning of the September 11 attacks. 20 years later, Ronnie came to StoryCorps to remember his brother and best friend.
Read the full transcript here.

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“We were the luckiest of the unlucky.”
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Mark Petrocelli

Retired NYC Fire Chief Albert Petrocelli died from COVID-19 nearly two decades after losing his youngest son, Mark, on September 11, 2001. Before he passed, Chief Petrocelli and his wife, Ginger, sat down to remember the last time they saw their son.
Read the full transcript here.

story
"People saw only a turban and a beard."
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Balbir Singh Sodhi

Rana and Harjit Sodhi remember their brother, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh man who was killed in the first hate crime following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Read the full transcript here.

Always a Family

Monique Ferrer remembers the last time she spoke with her ex-husband, Michael Trinidad, on September 11, 2001, when he called her from the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower to say goodbye.
Read the full transcript here.

 

From the Archive: More Stories of September 11

To hear more stories related to September 11, visit our Archive and search for the keyword “9/11”.

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Dawn Ennis and Amy Weinstein

Interview partners Dawn Ennis and Amy Weinstein talk about Dawn’s experience as a producer on CBS This Morning on the morning of September 11, 2001. Dawn describes the exact moment when newsrooms found out that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and she shares her feelings regarding the reactions that New Yorkers had after the attack. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Sharon Watts

Sharon Watts shares the story of her relationship with her ex-fiance Captain Patrick Brown of the FDNY, who passed away during the 9/11 attacks. Sharon affectionately recollects stories and reveals that soon after Patrick passed away, Sharon compiled stories and journals about his life to create a book. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Maria Dominguez and Phillip Cassanova

Rescue medical firefighter, Maria “Terry” Dominguez talks with her nephew Phillip Cassanova about her deployment with the USSR during the 9/11 attacks and shares her feelings about the aftermath of the tragedy while reflecting on the importance of loved ones. Phillip describes being 10 years old when the attack occurred and finding out in his 5th grade classroom. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Michael Doyle

Michael Doyle, along with StoryCorps facilitator Virginia Lora, recounts finding out that the attacks had occurred while he was riding the Q train over lower Manhattan. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Diane Davis and Leo McKenna

Spouses Diane Davis and Leo McKenna discuss their memories of 9/11, when 7,000 plane passengers were forced to land in the town of Gander, Newfoundland, Canada following the attacks in New York City. Diane, a third grade teacher at the time, remembers preparing the schools to house the passengers. Leo recalls the commotion that occurred due to the sudden landing of the passengers. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Seth and Lois Gilman

Seth Gilman, who was a rescue worker during 9/11, speaks with his mother Lois Gilman about assisting the New York City police and witnessing the loss of many lives on that day. He describes his journey to becoming a teacher, and the unity that he saw during a difficult moment in history. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Nadine Newlight

Nadine (Nai’a) Newlight tells StoryCorps facilitator Eloise Melzer about how close she was to being at World Trade Center on 9/11. She describes her love for the World Trade Center and her experience as a tour guide there. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Brian Muldowney and B. Kelly Hallman

Colleagues and close friends Brian Muldowney and B. Kelly Hallman discuss the loss of Muldowney’s brother, Richard Muldowney Jr., a fellow firefighter who passed away saving people on 9/11. Brian describes going down to the World Trade Center with his brother’s firehouse to help and discusses how his brother’s legacy affects his work. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Michael Fabiano

Michael Fabiano, a Deputy Controller for NY/NJ Port Authority, speaks with Sarah Geis about his experience being on the 69th floor of Tower 1 when the first plane attacked. He describes his escape from the building and his efforts to help bring to safety a colleague, John Ambrosio, who was wheelchair bound.
Read the full transcript here.

 


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Kris Gould and Scott Accord

On the morning of 9/11 as she watched the planes crash, Kris Gould tried to get in contact with a friend who worked on the 99th floor of Tower 1. She and her colleague Scott Accord talk about the vibe that fell over the city the day after the attacks occurred. Read the full transcript here.

 


Share your story. StoryCorps Connect makes it possible to interview a loved one remotely and then upload it to the StoryCorps Archive at the Library of Congress. Learn more at StoryCorpsConnect.org.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with AARP

National Hispanic Heritage Month gives us a chance to recognize the stories, contributions, achievements, and lived experiences of Latinx people across the United States.

Record Your Stories

We are proud to partner with AARP on their Vivan Las Voces project to record the voices and stories of the Latinx community. This month, we are offering tools to help you celebrate:
StoryCorps Connect, a remote interview platform. StoryCorps Connect interviews allow you to have meaningful conversations and preserve them at the Library of Congress through video conference technology. You can learn more and get the conversation started today at StoryCorpsConnect.org.

Share Stories

Listen to and share stories from StoryCorps Historias, our initiative to record the diverse stories and life experiences of Latinx people in the United States. You can also find our full collection of Historias stories here.

Facundo the Great

Ramón “Chunky” Sanchez remembers how teachers at his elementary school anglicized the Mexican American students’ names. But one name stumped them all.
Read the full transcript here.

story
"When Papu would talk to us it was like a king holding his court."
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They Called Him Papu

Martha Escutia and her cousin Marina Jimenez share the legacy of their grandfather, nicknamed Papu, who came to the U.S. as a Bracero worker in the 1940s.
Read the full transcript here.

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“There’s vultures circling all the time.”
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Providing Life-Saving Aid at the Border

Maria Ochoa, a 70-year-old grandmother, speaks about the many times she’s walked the Arizona desert, providing life-saving water and aid to migrants crossing the border from Mexico.
Read the full transcript here.

Yelitza Castro and Willie Davis

Yelitza Castro, an undocumented immigrant, has been cooking meals for homeless people in her community since 2010. Through this work she has gotten to know Willie Davis, who has been the recipient of many of those meals.
Read the full transcript here.

Gabe and Chris López

Gabe López, age 8, remembers when things really changed for him as a transgender kid. With his mother and friends by his side, he knew he wouldn’t have to face these changes alone.
Read the full transcript here.

Mi Abuela Panchita

Bishop Ricardo Ramierez remembers his grandmother Panchita Espitia as a formidable and wise woman. He shares her memory and the valuable spiritual lesson she taught him at the end of her days.
Read the full transcript here.

Want to listen to more StoryCorps stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

Looking for more activities related to Hispanic Heritage Month?

Check out a digital exhibition presented as part of our collaboration with the American Folklife Center and the Hispanic Division at the Library of Congress.

Digital Artifact Exploration (PDF): Celebrate Latinx heritage by experiencing it with a Digital Artifact Exploration for Hispanic Heritage Month

“Magic.” Two Virginia educators partnered with One Small Step, with inspiring results

2021 has been a year of tension. Disagreements seem to be higher stakes and higher volume than ever before. Will this disagreement end a friendship? Will my opinion ruin the holiday? Will I get called out on social media for asking a question? This pervasive tension and uncertainty have caused many of us to retreat inward, avoiding conflict entirely. We can’t fight if we don’t talk about our differences… right?

Two Virginia educators have refused to surrender to the tribalism and division that many across the country are experiencing. Instead of avoiding conflict for a shallow peace, Stefanie Jochman of Trinity Episcopal School and Wendy DeGroat of the Maggie L. Walker School for Government and International Studies have partnered with One Small Step, encouraging students to embrace conversations about difference. High schoolers of all backgrounds engaged in vulnerable conversations about political beliefs, anxieties, and belonging. They shared openly and listened carefully to their peers with different experiences and ideas.

The result, as Stefanie put it: “Magic.”

“​​Everyone has their own reasons for believing in a cause or having a certain opinion on an issue. I think it’s easy to forget that two opinions or ideas on solutions to problems can be correct.”

– OSS participant at Maggie L. Walker School for Government and International Studies

Using questions and training provided by One Small Step, Stefanie and Wendy taught students and even a few faculty the basic principles of civil discourse, paired the participants, and watched as the pairs began to have an immediate impact on each other.

Stefanie and Wendy each put their unique touch on the experience. Stefanie worked with faculty and staff facilitators who were present to assist and encourage productive dialogue. Wendy facilitated a series of mindfulness workshops to help students feel equipped for the conversations.

Both educators received immediate, positive feedback from participants. Wendy could hear students saying things to their conversation partners like, “I haven’t thought about that!” or “Oh, I’m already changing my mind.”

At the end of the conversation, one participant told Stefanie, “Everybody should be required to do this.”

Despite working in different schools, Stefanie and Wendy independently partnered with One Small Step for the same reasons. Both educators work at schools without a standard middle school-to-high school pipeline. Most students don’t know each other on the first day, and forging those connections with strangers was proving difficult for many students.

The educators recognized that these conversations, and the resulting experience in authentically and thoughtfully engaging with others, had value beyond practicing civil discourse skills. The skills and experience required for a successful One Small Step conversation are the same as the skills students must develop to have a rich and fulfilling social life – one in which difference is not ignored, but is thoughtfully considered and respected.

Stefanie and Wendy connected via StoryCorps staff and organized conversations between students at their schools. Even as students began to stray from the usual story format, the genuine excitement and curiosity was palpable.

Both educators are excited about the potential of the One Small Step model in high schools, where debate, dialogue, and even conversations are often about assessment, winning, or proving what you know. Their colleagues have been supportive of the model, even integrating some of the principles into future curriculum, and both Stefanie and Wendy are working to include alumni in future conversations.

Students had to take the initiative to join and were under no obligation to participate. They volunteered their time to engage with differences and to have their ideas challenged; many of them left their first conversation with a new idea, a more complicated opinion, and an increased level of empathy for people with whom they don’t immediately agree.

2021 is proving to be another challenging year. Many of us have retreated inward and chosen to avoid conflict, but the students at Maggie Walker and Trinity have shown us a better way. Educators like Stefanie and Wendy created the opportunity, while One Small Step provided the tools, but ultimately the success depends on the participants. If more of us commit to engage with difference and practice these essential skills and attitudes, perhaps the tribalism and division of 2021 can give way to a more thoughtful consideration of the humanity in all of us.

Photos: Stefanie Jochman (left) and Wendy DeGroat (right, photo by Ruby Hayes, a student at MLWGS)

Stories of Sweet Summer Memories

Ice cream trucks, baseball games, barbecues… everyone’s got their own sweet summer favorites. Luckily, the StoryCorps Archive is full of stories about lazy summer afternoons and reflections on seasons past, so we rounded up some of our favorites… (turns out our participants really, really love baseball). Listen to some of these incredible tales, get inspired, and go make some new memories this summer!

Do you want to have a conversation like these with someone you love? Just download the StoryCorps App to record your conversation and upload it directly to the Archive, housed at the Library of Congress. Or, if an in-person interview isn’t possible, use StoryCorps Connect to conduct it remotely.


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Joy on Saint James Pl.
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Joy on Saint James Pl.

In this episode of the StoryCorps podcast, how one family’s socially-distant block party brought a neighborhood together during the pandemic.


story
“Ice cream has given me a name, like a Ted Williams or a Babe Ruth or a Larry Bird.”
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A Life Through the Window of an Ice Cream Truck

Allan Ganz has been an ice cream man for over seven decades. At StoryCorps, he reminisces with his wife, Rosalyn, about his sweet career.


story
“He said, 'Freckles, how many times do you want my signature?'”
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Summers at Yankee Stadium

In 1943, Anthony D’Andrea was a kid on a mission: to get the signature of every team member of the Yankees.


story
"The way that I look at my job as a vendor, I’m a professional athlete."
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Fancy Clancy

Throughout his 43-year long career as a beer vendor for the Baltimore Orioles, Clarence “Clancy” Haskett has brought energy, athleticism, and cheer.


story
“The parents initially booed when I went out to play. They could see that I was a better player than some of their sons.”
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The Girl Who Changed Little League Baseball

As a girl, there was nothing Kay “Tubby” Johnston wanted more than to play little league baseball. This is how one kid’s love of the game changed everything.


Two by Two

Hunny and Elliot met in the summer of 1946… and so did their identical twins. The two pairs of twins got married in a double wedding, and after sixty-one years of marriage, Hunny and Elliot sat down to share some memories.


story
"I was in Brooklyn, New York teaching the third grade."
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The Nuns of Summer

Sister Vincent Cecire, 94, shares how she fell in love with baseball and how she and her friend earned the nickname “the Nuns of Summer”.


Want to listen to more StoryCorps stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

Return to In-Person Recording

StoryCorps is excited to welcome you back to our recording booths in-person starting in Fall of 2021. Here’s what you can expect after reserving your appointment.

Prior to your recording date StoryCorps staff will be in touch with you to confirm your in-person appointment and to brief you on our safety protocols. If you decide to record your interview virtually instead, that’s perfectly all right. We will continue to offer virtual appointments in addition to in-person appointments. If you would like to record in person, please review our safe community agreements below. If you are not willing to comply with these agreements, we will require you to record virtually.

StoryCorps Safe Community Agreements 

At any point in time, you can switch your in-person appointment to a virtual appointment. To do so, please contact your recording team. If you need to cancel your appointment for any reason, we invite you to sign up for a future virtual or in-person recording appointment if slots are available. If there are no appointment slots available, please join our waitlist, or we encourage you to record at your convenience using one of our free digital platforms: the StoryCorps App or StoryCorps Connect.

On your recording date, here’s what StoryCorps is doing to keep you safe:

Please note that these recommended guidelines are subject to change at the discretion of StoryCorps, and in accordance with updates to local, state, and federal regulations and policies. If the requirements above are not met, StoryCorps staff will be able to end the recording. If health guidelines inhibit StoryCorps from recording interviews in-person, StoryCorps staff will reschedule in-person appointments to take place virtually.

Thank you for your interest in sharing your story. We look forward to seeing you soon!

The Way Out of Toxic Polarization

By Peter T. Coleman, Professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University

The combination of COVID, political polarization, racial injustice, and the attack on the U.S. Capitol have all contributed to a majority of Americans being miserable. But, it’s not just about two people who have different opinions and are unable to talk to each other. It goes way beyond this. The media, the internet, our political leaders, and our political structures also contribute to this miserable divide.

In an environment like we’re currently in, change can be difficult. But, it’s possible when you take small steps.

My work focuses on violent, long-term conflicts that go on for 30 years or more. We find that they change under two conditions. First, the population begins to get exhausted, fed up, and really miserable. Studies show that a majority of Americans are at this point. Second, they need to see a way out, that there is a clear way forward that is hopeful, feasible and not too costly.

How do we do this?

Don’t launch first into a political debate. Try to begin by learning about others through dialogue, by sharing your personal stories and hearing theirs in a way that opens you up to each other and to discovering more about them, yourself and the problems you are facing together. This is fundamental to overcoming the oversimplification, hate and polarization that we’re experiencing. It starts by listening and hearing one another speak about things not related to politics, such as life stories and things we share in common.

This can offer a first step toward a way out of our current misery. By experiencing this, we begin to gain a sense of what it means to move beyond our current climate of contempt. Modeling this for others is also critical. Hearing stories of people connecting across our divisions can move people and change their sense of what is possible.

One Small Step introduces the opportunity for people to have that experience, and also shows them how to have that experience. When others see and hear people with opposite opinions have meaningful conversations without descending into tense political debate, they begin to recognize that these kinds of encounters are possible, valuable and meaningful, and that they can have these experiences too.

Beyond participating in One Small Step, you can engage with others with whom you disagree politically by simply doing a couple things:

There is a way out of the polarization we’re currently trapped in. You’re taking positive steps to help overcome it by learning and participating in One Small Step.

As we continue to develop One Small Step, experts across a number of fields are advising StoryCorps on how to create respectful environments conducive to meaningful connection. Peter Coleman, Professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University, is one of our advisors.

SIGN UP TO TAKE ONE SMALL STEP
We’re matching strangers from different points of view for conversations about who they are. Anyone, anywhere can sign up for our email list and complete our matching questionnaire to have the opportunity to be paired with a stranger for a One Small Step conversation.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

On the Front Lines: Stories Recorded with the Association of American Medical Colleges

In 2020 the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) partnered with StoryCorps to highlight health care professionals’ experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic, racism, and persistent inequities in America. Over the course of this partnership we were able to record with 17 individuals who shared their personal struggles and triumphs throughout their life working in the American healthcare system. The stories were recorded through StoryCorps for Hire, and premiered at the 2020 AAMC annual meeting from November 18 — 20. Listen to the incredible stories we recorded below:


John Vickers, MD, Adrienne Vickers, and Selwyn Vickers, MD

Dr. John Vickers, Jr. talks with his son, Dr. Selwyn Vickers, and granddaughter, Adrienne Vickers, about his journey to become one of the first Black people to graduate from the University of Alabama with a PhD, and the legacy he wants to leave for his family.


Aviad Haramati, PhD and Carrie Chen, PhD

Medical school educator Dr. Aviad “Adi” Haramati talks with his colleague, Dr. Huiju “Carrie” Chen, about his influences, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and in the midst of it all, what gives him hope.


LaShyra Nolen and Elizabeth Gaufberg, MD

Harvard medical student LaShyra “Lash” Nolen tells her former professor Dr. Elizabeth Gaufberg about how COVID-19 has changed the way she advocates for her patients and the role she’s playing during the pandemic as the first Black woman to serve as student council president.


Rachel Pearson, MD, and Benjamin Laussade

Dr. Rachel Pearson tells her husband, Ben Laussade, what it was like being pregnant and working in a hospital in San Antonio, Texas as COVID-19 spread throughout the United States. The couple welcomed their baby, Sam, at the height of the pandemic.


Sadé Frazier, DO, MS and David Kountz, MD, MBA, FACP

Colleagues Dr. David Kountz and Dr. Sadé Frazier discuss how the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement have affected them both in and out of the workplace. The two also consider what needs to happen to increase the number of Black physicians in the field.


Kimberly Manning, MD, and Shanta Zimmer, MD

Dr. Kimberly Manning tells her friend and colleague, Dr. Shanta Zimmer, about her path to medicine, her experience at Tuskegee and Meharry Universities, and some of the lessons she has learned in her journey as a Black physician.


Cecil Webster, MD, and Dowin Boatright, MD

Physicians and close friends Dr. Cecil Webster and Dr. Dowin Boatright discuss racism in medical education and how difficult it can be to talk about the realities of racism with children.


Jayna Gardner-Gray, MD, and Geneva Tatem, MD

Dr. Jayna Gardner-Gray has a conversation with her colleague, Dr. Geneva Tatem, about the underrepresentation of Black doctors, advocating for the underserved communities, their experiences during the pandemic, and their hopes for the future.


At StoryCorps, we promote the power of storytelling to teach, celebrate, heal, and amplify your community or institution in partnerships tailored to your needs. If your organization is interested in partnering with StoryCorps to record and share the stories of your community, please visit our website to learn more, or reach out to customservices@storycorps.org.

Remarkable Friends Share Their Stories

Since the beginning of StoryCorps, countless friends have sat down, one-on-one, to share the things that matter to them through the StoryCorps interview process. That’s why we’re celebrating stories of those people who matter to each other. Explore the collection to hear lifelong companions offer enduring support, new friends meet for the first time, and old acquaintances reconnect after years apart.

Celebrate one of your friends by inviting them to a StoryCorps interview! Just download the StoryCorps App to record your conversation and upload it directly to the Archive, housed at the Library of Congress. Or, if an in-person interview isn’t possible, use StoryCorps Connect to conduct it remotely.


Clean Streets

“I’ve been very lucky because he’s been the best partner I ever had.” Angelo Bruno and Eddie Nieves remember a decade of working together as sanitation workers in New York City.


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"I think I survived it by always having hope."
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Even an Iota of Light

After being released from prison following a 15-year sentence for a nonviolent drug offense, Robert Sanchez met minister Fred Davie. They discuss the support that Fred offered Robert as he navigated re-entry.


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"There’s a huge well of grief there but you gotta show up."
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“It’s Still Worth Celebrating”

Yennie Neal-Achigbu and Jamie Olivieri celebrate three decades of being there for each other, from dealing with grief to organizing Christmas sleepovers for their kids.


story
“The next time you and I saw each other was in the middle of the Vietnam War.”
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Old Friends Reunited on a Battlefield in Vietnam

Joe Galloway and Vince Cantu lost touch after graduating high school together. Years later, Joe took a photograph of a soldier in Vietnam — and quickly realized it was Vince.


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“Oh God, here’s a newsy neighbor.”
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“You’re My Forever Love”

Beau McCall and Julaina Glass didn’t get off on the right foot. 30 years later, they look back on the friendship of a lifetime.


Love Lost, And Found

Sue McConnell and Kristyn Weed were disowned by their families after coming out. Then they found each other through a transgender veterans’ group.


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"You were just doing what you felt you needed to do for us to be better people."
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“You Didn’t Elevate Me, But You Helped Me Elevate Myself”

Sean Lloyd was one of Raymond Blanks’s only Black teachers. After graduating college, Raymond became an educator himself. The two reflect on the impact they had on each other.


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"I remember seeing your face and I was shocked."
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Longtime Friends Reconnect in a Homeless Shelter

“I don’t know where I would be if you and I didn’t run into each other at the shelter.” Barbara Parham and Jeanne Satterfield discuss the support they offered each other after experiencing homelessness.


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“I was secretly really envying you to be able to be yourself.”
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Our Own Mountains to Climb

After coming out, 90-year-old Kenneth Felts talked with his trainer, David Smith, who is also gay, about Ken’s journey and the inspiration David provided.


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“We had even stronger bonds because we had survived this together.”
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Friends During the Vietnam War Reunite Almost 50 Years After

John Nordeen and Kay Lee served in the same platoon during the Vietnam War, but they lost touch when they returned to the U.S. Then, nearly 50 years later, John gave Kay a call.


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