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Columbus, Georgia Becomes New OSS Anchor Community

Last week, we welcomed Columbus, Georgia, as our fourth One Small Step (OSS) Anchor Community! Activities in Columbus included a public launch event at the National Infantry Museum, and a presentation at the Columbus Rotary, where an audio card of an OSS conversation between Columbus NAACP President Wane Hailes and recently retired, six-term Muscogee County Republican Party Chairman Alton Russell, debuted. 

Dave Isay talks to an attendee at the launch event in Columbus on September 13.

As our latest Anchor Community, Columbus is a natural choice for a number of reasons. In particular, we have a long and rich history in Georgia: a StoryBooth has been located in Atlanta for ten years and StoryCorps has worked on and off in both Macon and Columbus since 2011. In addition, Columbus has been especially welcoming and enthusiastic toward OSS and the idea of fostering understanding across divides. In a recent poll (conducted by Benenson Strategy Group), while most residents said that Columbus is more divided than at any point in their lifetime, almost everyone (3 out of 4 Columbus residents) is eager to learn how people who aren’t like them, think and feel. 

Caption (L to R): Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson, StoryCorps CEO Sandra Clark, and Columbus NAACP President Wane Hailes.

In each of our current Anchor Communities—Fresno/Central Valley, California; Richmond, Virginia; and Wichita, Kansas—we implemented a comprehensive advertising and community engagement strategy, and have been working closely with community partners and civic leaders to showcase the potential of OSS. We look forward to doing the same in Columbus!

To see more of the launch event in Columbus, click here

20th Anniversary: StoryCorps Animated Shorts

Celebrate our anniversary with a collection of five new animations that reflect the breadth of meaningful conversations that people have shared in StoryCorps Booths over the last 20 years, as they pass on wisdom they gained along their paths and even connect over a shared laugh.

Family Harmony

When Gilbert Zermeño dreamed of joining his school band, he pictured himself playing a shiny saxophone. To his dismay, his family—getting by on the $100 a week that his father made working in the nearby cotton fields—couldn’t afford one. At StoryCorps, he shares with his wife, Patricia Powers-Zermeño, how his musical journey began on a bad note, but ended in harmony. 

Dreamer’s Gift (Coming 9/28)

Never underestimate the power of a haircut.

Rules of the Road (Coming 10/5)

A driving lesson gone wrong.

Grandma’s Hands (Coming 10/12)

Her grandmother’s hands shaped her.

Mama Sug (Coming 10/19)

Laughter, love, and a little bit of chaos.


Celebrating two decades since our founding in October of 2003, StoryCorps has documented the stories of more than 640,000 people nationwide; giving voice to the tapestry of the American experience. See how we’re celebrating this important milestone!

Donate to help record more stories, forge deeper connections, & build a brighter future.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re highlighting the stories that uplift Latine* voices as they share triumphs, achievements, legacies, and lived experiences from across the United States. As you listen to the stories below, take a moment to reflect on what heritage means to you and how you consider inclusivity in your day-to-day life.

Know any voices that are missing from the narrative of Latine history and heritage?

By sitting down with someone you love for a StoryCorps conversation, you’re showing them that their stories matter and preserving them for generations to come. 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.

From StoryCorps Historias

Listen to and share stories from StoryCorps Historias, our initiative to record the diverse stories and life experiences of Latine 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.

“I remember he had the white boots, the white mask, with kind of like a red beak.”
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A Son Remembers His Father, A Lucho Libre Wrestler

John Torres, Jr. came to StoryCorps with his dad’s best friend and fellow wrestler, Abraham Guzman, to remember John, Sr. and his stardom as a Lucho Libre Wrestler in the Bronx.

"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.

“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 legal, life-saving water and aid to migrants crossing the border from Mexico.

"Tell me about your childhood in Mexico."
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Growing Up in Tijuana

Francisco Ortega shares memories of his childhood in Tijuana with his daughter Kaya, and tells her about the day he left Mexico to reunite with his parents in Los Angeles.

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.

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.

“He was proud he was able to help save one of his fellow pilots.”
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Siblings Remember Their Father, A Combat Pilot Who Served In Three Wars

Lt. Col. Miguel Encinias was a military pilot at a time when combat pilots of Hispanic heritage were almost unheard of. At StoryCorps, Isabel and Juan Pablo Encinias reflect on their hero — their father — and his love for flying.

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.

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 Latine heritage by experiencing it with a Digital Artifact Exploration for Hispanic Heritage Month

*Throughout the brief history of this month-long commemoration multiple words have been used including Hispanic, Latino, Latina, Latinx and now Latine to highlight individuals whose roots tie them to Latin America. At StoryCorps, we try our best to be inclusive of all individuals, from any background. In doing so, we want to share our reasoning behind our wording. We believe that any individual should be free to use the word that they most identify with, and with the goal of creating inclusive spaces in mind, we will be using the word Latine as we share stories for Hispanic Heritage Month, and beyond. Latine is a gender-neutral version of Latino and Latina, that uses an -e instead of an -x (such as in Latinx), and can be considered more inclusive for Spanish and English speakers alike.

Five Ways to Celebrate Your Organization’s Anniversary with StoryCorps

How does your organization commemorate its anniversary? At StoryCorps Studios, we’ve had the privilege of partnering with a wide range of diverse organizations to celebrate their important milestones. Discover a few ways we’ve leveraged the power of storytelling to create unforgettable anniversary moments.

1.  Host a meaningful community engagement event

Featuring the City of New Orleans, Tricentennial Commission, 2018

In honor of New Orleans’ 300th Anniversary, the City of New Orleans Tricentennial Commission wanted to generate civic pride by bringing their community together to celebrate their rich cultural heritage. Their goal was to create an archive of community stories that represented the wide range of voices and perspectives that make up the fabric of the city.

The Campaign:

At the beginning of the anniversary year, StoryCorps Studios created an exciting PR moment and brought our Mobile Booth to town to record more than 60 stories with residents about the culture and spirit of New Orleans. Participants included local business leaders, organizers, artists, and local celebrities like Leah Chase, Archie & Cooper Manning etc.

Participants told stories about the arts, food, sports, activism, and everyday moments that shape life in the city. 

Studios produced 25 audio stories which are available on the New Orleans Tricentennial Commission’s website

2. Archive the voices and stories of your organization before it’s too late

Featuring UT Austin: McCombs School of Business, 2022

UT Austin: McCombs School of Business wanted to mark its 100th anniversary with a community engagement & storytelling campaign that uplifted the school’s diverse and unsung voices, and showcased how Mccombs’ human-centered approach sets it apart from other business schools. By providing a special reflection experience for the campus community, they hoped to not only celebrate the milestone, but to surface stories that would add new depth and dimension to comms materials for prospective students, donors, and alumni.

The Campaign:

To meet the moment, StoryCorps Studios visited campus during two fall events — September Homecoming and the November Dean’s Advisory Board Meeting — recording 20 conversations between students, alumni, faculty and staff about McCombs’ influence on their lives.

One of the recording participants was activist Shudde Fath, the oldest surviving alumni. She was 106 at the time of the recording and passed away about a month after the interview. McCombs was thrilled they got to record her before her passing, saying “her life story will remain an inspiration for generations.”

The conversation between Charles & Caroline Enriquez is one of our favorite Studios pieces.

“This has been one of my all-time favorite projects. It was a gratifying experience for our participants as they reflected on their impact, and it offered us an innovative way to tell our McCombs story….I hope more people get to do it.”
Yolanda Urrabazo,  McCombs School of Business, Director of Communications

3. Invite your entire community to contribute to a lasting archive

Featuring Office of Trafficking in Persons, 2021

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the US Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP), wanted to create a public awareness campaign featuring the voices of trafficking survivors and their allies. Their goal was to contribute to our collective understanding and create a safe space where participants could feel comfortable sharing stories around sensitive topics on their own terms. 

The Campaign:

OTIP launched the project under the title “Voices of Freedom” and facilitated dozens of interviews between survivors of human trafficking and those working in policy and programming to end it. 

Then, OTIP invited all members of their community to use StoryCorps’ digital tools to record their own interviews and add them to a dedicated archive of community voices. Over the course of the next year, 100 participants recorded using StoryCorps self-directed tools. 

“We wanted to democratize the voices…to be as inclusive as possible. This technology [allows] anyone to have a conversation with anyone of their choice.” — Katherine Chon, Director at Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP)

4. Bring together a range of perspectives

Featuring KIPP Northern California Public Schools, 2022

KIPP NorCal, a network of free, charter schools in northern California, wanted to mark their 20th anniversary with a campaign that celebrated their achievements and illustrated how their holistic approach to education sets them apart from other schools. Their goal was to feature a broad range of community voices that could speak to KIPP’s impact and engage both donors and prospective students.

The Campaign:

Ahead of their anniversary celebrations, StoryCorps Studios facilitated 25 interviews with alumni, students, faculty, and staff about the effect KIPP had on their lives. StoryCorps produced five audio pieces with illustrated audio cards, five teaser clips, and an Audio-Visual Montage that KIPP featured on their website, at their gala, on social media, and as part of their impact report.

“The days of recording were very joyful. One pair came up to me afterward and said “We cried a little bit. It was great!”
Maria Krauter  – KIPP: NORCAL, Managing Director of External Affairs

5. Give the gift of StoryCorps

Featuring the Russell Berrie Foundation, 2021

To celebrate the 25th Annual Making a Difference Awards, the Russell Berrie Foundation wanted to gift their award winners a unique and meaningful experience that honored their achievements and documented the substantial impact they have made on the lives of others. Their goal was to use the foundation’s platform and resources to shine a spotlight on smaller organizations and amplify their work. 

The Campaign:

Ahead of the awards, StoryCorps Studios recorded 15 conversations between award winners and their friends, family, and colleagues. StoryCorps Studios edited these conversations into a series of illustrated audio cards which the foundation featured on their website, social media, and at their awards.

Ready to celebrate an anniversary with us?

Life on the Road: Adventures with StoryCorps’ Mobile Tour Staff (September 1 – 7, 2023)

It’s been an amazing week in Green Bay, Wisconsin! 

September 1st

After arriving in the city on Wednesday night, I head to the airstream for my first day of recordings in Green Bay on Friday morning. As I resettle into the booth, my colleagues and I are also preparing to finish our stop here – this is the final week of recordings in Green Bay before we head to St. Louis, Missouri for our next stop on the Mobile Tour. I’m excited to be back in the recording space after my office stint and am ready to listen to some amazing stories.

My first recording is with a family of three stopping in to record a conversation before moving their daughter into college later in the afternoon. Lucia asks her parents Jim and Maria about their lives, memories they share as a family, and advice they might have for her as she prepares for her next adventure at college.

It’s a privilege to be present for moments like these in participants’ lives – when people come to commemorate a milestone, remember a loved one, or share something they’ve never shared before, I feel honored that they trust me to listen to their story and record it.

Shira hangs in the lobby/office section of the airstream while I finish the first recording of the day. We take turns facilitating appointments at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, and 4:30pm. Within these hour blocks, we budget time for a 40-minute recording and some time to do paperwork and take photos of participants. We trade off facilitating every other appointment so that we can “database” information about the recordings we’ve facilitated into StoryCorps’ Online Archive. Databasing is how we preserve all of the information surrounding StoryCorps recordings and make them searchable on the archive so that other people can find and listen to these stories. One of the ways we accomplish this is by giving each of our archived recordings a short description, helping someone searching the archive know what the conversation is about at a glance. We also add keywords, sort of like hashtags, to archive entries so that conversations surrounding the same topics can be searched for together. During each recording, we take notes to create what’s called a “subject log,” highlighting what participants talk about at different times in the conversation and creating timestamps for them to navigate to particular moments in the recording.

September 7th

Today is the day of our listening event, a gathering for community members and participants to come together and commemorate StoryCorps’ stop in Green Bay. Listening events are a chance for community members to listen to some of the stories recorded during our stop, learn more about StoryCorps, and celebrate the voices of the people of Green Bay. Tonight we’re hosting the event at the Aging and Disability Resource Center, our site partner here in Green Bay.

As people trickle in for the listening event, we invite them to participate in an activity called “join the conversation.” Guests can pick up a pen and respond to quotes and questions heard during our stop, written on posters around the space. This is a chance to hear from those who have recorded in Green Bay and engage new perspectives. I always learn a lot from these posters.

One of today’s posters asked, “If you could talk to a younger version of yourself, what would you say?” Messages about accepting mistakes resonate. As more people join the crowd, I wonder what I’d tell the younger version of myself who was just joining the StoryCorps Mobile Tour almost a year ago. Suddenly, over 70 people are here, and it’s time to  listen to some stories from Green Bay We all sit down and get quiet. The silence feels eager, a lot like when we are about to hit record in the Booth. 

The crowd laughs, cries, and applauds as Wisconsin Public Radio plays pieces from participant recordings this stop. Audience members ask each other questions about the recording experience, and participants reflect on the importance of sharing stories. Even though I only joined the road for the tail-end of this stop, I feel so welcomed by our site and station partners, as well as by community members who came to record. I even saw some of the participants I recorded with over the past week! 

Throughout it all, I keep hearing expressions of gratitude. I feel grateful too. Grateful that I got to know this community, even if it was for a short time, grateful for the stories that participants were brave enough to share, and, in a bittersweet way, grateful for another meaningful adventure that is about to unfold on our next stop. St. Louis, Missouri, here we come!

Life on the Road: Adventures with StoryCorps’ Mobile Tour Staff (August 25 – 31, 2023)

Today’s the day – I’m flying back to join the Mobile Tour Team in Green Bay, Wisconsin!

Depending on where the team is located, travel days can look pretty different. This time around, I decided to take advantage of the team being in the Midwest by taking a quick trip to visit family friends in Minneapolis, Minnesota before continuing on to Green Bay. That means I get to take a speedy hour-long flight this evening to rejoin the road.

Mobile facilitators travel pretty light: I typically travel with a suitcase, a backpack, and a tote. We can also leave a small “road bag” with the road team when we leave for office stints so that things like toiletries, personal spices, and yoga mats don’t have to get flown back and forth. With all of these bags, I have everything I need to make it through the next 8 weeks. Road stints typically range from 8 to 13 weeks, but can be longer or shorter depending on circumstance.

When I finally land in Green Bay, my co-facilitator Shira is there to pick me up in our Team minivan. Even though I knew I’d be arriving late at night and offered to Uber home, Shira insisted on picking me up, laughing about how “that is the Mobile way.” Shira and I started our Mobile journey together back in October 2022 – after all this time together, we’ve formed a strong bond.

August 31st

This morning I woke up in our gorgeous Airbnb in Green Bay, where the team has been living since early August.

Today is a Thursday, which is a work-from-home day for the road team. This means I have plenty of time to catch up on emails, fully move into our housing, and get situated for a full recording day in the airstream tomorrow. The team records in the booth every day of the week except for Tuesdays and Thursdays, hosting up to 6 recording appointments a day. I’m gearing up for a full weekend of meeting participants and hearing some great stories before I have my “weekend” off on Monday and Tuesday! First and foremost for me today, though: I need some groceries.

A silly novelty about living in so many different parts of the country is the regional grocery stores. Whether it’s H-E-B, King Soopers, or Festival Foods, I love doing my initial grocery shop at a store I’ve never been to before. As we move between stops we always bring our communal spices, cooking oils, and very old cans of beans that we just can’t seem to part with. This makes it easier for people coming on and off the road to not have to start building their pantry up from scratch. After some Festival Foods time, I am stocked and ready for the next 10 days in Green Bay before we drive to St. Louis, Missouri.

Another way I like to orient myself to a new tour stop is by going on long walks or jogs. Being outside is such a peaceful way to acquaint myself with the area and settle after traveling. After cooking myself a warm meal in the kitchen for the first time, I take a stroll around the neighborhood, which is full of green trees, parks, and quiet driveways.

As I settle at the kitchen table to work, I’m excited to facilitate my first recordings in Green Bay tomorrow. Be sure to tune in next week to hear about my experience in Green Bay, the participants I’ll meet, and the recordings I’ll listen to!

Staff Spotlight: Christopher Norris

About Me: 

I’m a self-taught drummer who has played professionally for over a decade, including auditioning for Diddy’s Making the Band reality TV show in 2009 — earning a skip-the-line pass for the New York auditions after being the only drummer from Philly to make the cut. I’m an excellent cook, avid reader, and a mixologist that specializes in craft whiskey cocktails. My favorite types of podcasts center on either professional wrestling or business strategy. 

What is your role and how long have you been in this position?

My job is Strategic Adviser to the CEO and I’ve been in this role for six months.

What does your job entail?

Firstly, I serve as a thought-partner to our CEO Sandy Clark, helping to shape institutional strategy and drive alignment across the organization. I also oversee strategy for One Small Step: I’m currently focused on developing strategies for scale, which includes fostering community adoption and building deep, meaningful partnerships and community. 

What are the rewards of your job?

I love meeting so many people who share the same values as me around pluralism and the importance of civic dialogue. I also like the idea of contributing to something bigger than us—like One Small Step—it allows me to reflect and think deeply about myself in the process. 

What are the challenges of your job?

Because One Small Step is bigger than all of us, we also have to be responsive to a range of stakeholders and balance a heavy meeting schedule, while being thoughtful and getting the work done.

Why should everyone record a story with StoryCorps?

Everyone should record their story because there’s tremendous value in having this archive of contemporary American voices. StoryCorps’ methodology works and it’s not an accident that over 645,000 people have recorded a conversation with us. The value of these conversations for future generations, say 100 years from now, is that they will have a holistic view of modern humanity. I think the StoryCorps archive is a great human accomplishment. 

What is your favorite StoryCorps story?

My favorite story is Double Major.  It works as a piece of narrative change content, serving as a counter to the deficit–framed narrative that Black men as fathers are not present or responsible. 

Commemorating the Anniversary of September 11

September 11th is a day where we remember and commemorate the pivotal moment in our nation’s story and honor each life lost during the attacks on September 11, 2001. It’s been twenty-two years since that day, yet the memories of the lives lost, the everyday heroes who emerged, and the unity that lifted us all endure in our hearts.

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. In 2021, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, StoryCorps released 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 narratives reflect the profound impact of that day on individuals and communities across the nation. Through these conversations, we honor the lives lost, the heroes who emerged, and the enduring spirit of unity and resilience that defines our shared history.

These interviews were archived in the StoryCorps Archive in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and they were 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 also released 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. The second part remembers the life and legacy of Richard Palazzolo, who was killed in the attacks. Subscribe to the StoryCorps podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

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.

“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.

"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.

"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.

“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.

"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.

One Small Step: A Proxy for Personal Conversations?

Not long into her initial One Small Step conversation, Kim noticed something a bit uncanny. Here she was expecting to begin a discourse with her political counterpart, someone with opposing political points of view. But from the outset, the gentleman on the other end of the Zoom call was starting to seem eerily familiar and she was finding more similarities than differences. 

Both were attorneys in their 50s.  Both were the product of divorced parents and had long periods of estrangement from one of them. Both raised daughters named Elizabeth, who coincidentally struggle with ADHD.  

“That conversation just kind of blew us both away,” she remembers. “We joked that whoever was in charge of making the One Small Step matches must have been private detectives. It would have been hard to predict how much we had in common as far as upbringings.”

From a macro level, Kim understood what One Small Step was all about and the value of connecting two human beings who happen to be on opposing sides of the political spectrum. When she heard StoryCorps Founder and President Dave Isay speak about the initiative at The Richmond Forum a few years ago, she knew immediately it was something she wanted to participate in.

But as the day grew closer to finally connecting with Eric, she began to contemplate a more personal, self-interested perspective. Could this conversation help her relate to other conservatives in her own life, people who share more of Eric’s political points of view than her own?

“My joke with Eric was that I was using him as a proxy to have conversations with Scott, my significant other, whose views tend to skew further to the right than mine,” Kim says. “In the heat of 2016 and elections, we had some pretty bumpy and intense conversations, so I thought talking to Eric could help me understand where Scott was coming from.”

When the dialogue meandered into politics, Kim found Eric’s views outside of what she might expect from someone who called himself a “Liz Cheney-type Republican.”  His support for socialized medicine and a woman’s right to choose reminded her of the writings of Bryan Stevenson, the human rights attorney who founded the Equal Justice Initiative and is the author of Just Mercy.  

“He [Stevenson] talks a lot about proximity, that if you’re proximate to people – you see their situations and issues up close – it’s much easier to understand them,” Kim says. “I think that is what has helped to shape Eric’s views.  They’re based on his personal experiences.”

It’s been more than a year since Kim and Eric first connected, and they’re still talking, and in fact, they are already planning on meeting in person for the first time when, as luck would have it – they both will be in St. Louis this November.  

“I’m hopeful we’ll get to meet him, and I think it would be very interesting for Scott to meet him, too.  I imagine he and Scott will have a lot in common, politically and otherwise,” she says.