– StoryCorps

Honoring World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day, commemorated on December 1st, is a global day of solidarity for those around the world affected by HIV, and is an opportunity to honor those lives lost by the epidemic. This year marks 35 years of World AIDS Day, a milestone to celebrate significant progress made in fighting the HIV-AIDS epidemic, and to recognize the work that lies ahead. Listen to a collection of voices that amplify the experiences of individuals affected by the epidemic — stories resonating with love, loss, and unyielding resilience.

My Aunties

In the early eighties, Stefan Lynch was raised, cared and loved for by gay parents. Stefan remembers the succession of AIDS-related illnesses in his family, including the death of his father in ‘91. Even in the face of terrible sickness and loss, his aunties showed him how to survive and care for one another.

Christopher remembers the early days of the AIDS epidemic

In 1988, Christopher Harris was diagnosed with HIV. At the time, there was only one drug approved to treat the disease, and a diagnosis often meant a death sentence. With StoryCorps, Harris remembered how he came to work with the Atlanta Buyers Club, which distributed medications from the black market to people with HIV before the drugs had been approved by the FDA.

Mary Caplan and Emily Collazo

"I never knew how people were going to respond when I said Tom died of AIDS."
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Mary Caplan tells Emily Collazo the story of her brother’s death from AIDS in the early 1980s. Mary recalls the mood of the time, the way people spoke about AIDS, and how her life changed after she brought him home from the hospital for the final time.

A Married Couple Remembers Those They Lost to AIDS

“One reason I love you so much is you know what I went through and you don’t feel threatened.”
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Larry Dearmon and Stephen Mills met in 1992, during the height of the AIDS epidemic in Little Rock, Arkansas. Together for 26 years, the two came to StoryCorps to remember the loss that eventually brought them together.

Reverend Eric Williams and Jennette Berkeley-Patton

"So I get a call from a local funeral home..."
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In 1991, Reverend Eric Williams was a new pastor at the Calvary Temple Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri. At StoryCorps, he told his colleague, Jannette Berkley-Patton about his first experience dealing with AIDS in his ministry.

These Memories Shapes His Journey Into Hospice Work

“We are all together in this painful world, but because of that, this really organic, deep seated sense of compassion arises that puts us together.”
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Hajime Issan Koyama made his way into a career in hospice care after witnessing many of his friends and colleagues pass away during the 1980s AIDS epidemic in New York City. But the experiences that laid the foundation for his concept of death and dying go back to his childhood growing up in Japan, and his favorite grandmother. He came to StoryCorps in July of 2015 with his husband, Paul Boos, to share those memories.

Doug Neville and Ryan Johnson

"I celebrate the fact that you're alive."
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Doug Neville and Ryan Johnson met in 1986, shortly before Doug was diagnosed as HIV-positive. At StoryCorps, they talk about their three decades of friendship and how Doug’s diagnosis has shaped their perspectives on life.

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

Stories to Honor Native American Heritage Month

November is National Native American Heritage Month — dedicated to honoring the diverse cultures, traditions, and histories of Native people. The month celebrates the enriching contributions and profound influence Native people have had across the continent, and also serves as a reflection and acknowledgement of the challenges they have confronted historically and in the present.

Join us in honoring and uplifting the voices of Indigenous people across the country by sharing and listening to their stories.

Add your voice to the narrative of Native American 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 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.

My Father, the Giant

Thompson Williams remembers his father, a larger-than-life tribal leader of the Caddo Nation and a veteran of World War II.

Listen to Thompson and Kiamichi-tet’s original StoryCorps interview.

The Bookmobile

Storm Reyes was working full-time at a migrant work camp at age 8. She remembers the day a bookmobile arrived, and the world was suddenly at her fingertips.

Where I Come From

Barnie Botone looks back on the beauty and the tragedies that he and his family have experienced on the railroad.

“She Always Gave.” Remembering Shoshone Leader Lillian Pabawena Pubigee

“She would tell us stories, and sing to us.”
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Gwen’s family migrated from city to city across the Wasatch Front region in Utah. But Gwen continued to visit the tribe’s reservations for powwows, funerals, or basketball games, and during the summers she’d visit her grandparents. The time she spent with her maternal grandmother, Lillian Pabawena Pubigee, stands out the most.

Gwen came to StoryCorps with her daughter, Heather Timbimboo Jorgensen, to talk about those trips, and to honor the memory of Lillian.

“I Didn’t Know If I Really Belonged”: A Chickasaw Woman Finds Her Way Back to Oklahoma

“​​As soon as I got there, I knew I was home.”
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Shelby Rowe works in suicide prevention and has dedicated her life to helping people struggling with mental health. But she came to StoryCorps with her best friend, Johnna James, to share her own story of overcoming hardship, and how she found belonging in her Chickasaw roots.

This Couple is Fighting for Equality and Safety For Two Spirit People On Tribal Land

“This is a spiritual journey.”
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Felipa DeLeon Mousseau Grew up in Manderson on the Pine Ridge Reservation. When she was young she knew a few gay people, including her cousin, and while they were accepted in the community they were not always respected.

When she was in her 30’s Felipa went out for a night with coworkers to a dimly lit, crowded bar in Rapid City, South Dakota. This is where she first saw Monique “Muffie” Mousseau. Muffie had also grown up on the reservation, but 16 miles from Felipa in a small town called Porcupine.

A fast and intense love sprung up between them. And it took them on a journey that neither of them could have anticipated. They came to StoryCorps to talk about that night and what came next.

A Mother And Son Remember “Grandma Chief”

“She stood up and said, ‘No, I have something to say.’”
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In 1985, Wilma Mankiller made history when she became the first woman to lead the Cherokee Nation. Her family remembers her as an inspiring trailblazer, and as a supportive mother and grandmother.

Carolyn DeFord

“This year, I'm the age she was when she disappeared.”
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Carolyn DeFord, a Puyallup tribal member, remembers her mom, Leona Kinsey, who disappeared twenty years ago. She is part of an epidemic of Native American women who have gone missing and never been found.

“Strong Lines, Beautiful Lines”: Two Alaska Native Women Make Their Mark

"It changes the way that you carry yourself."
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Friends Grete Bergman and Sarah Whalen-Lunn came to StoryCorps to talk about Grete becoming one of the first women in the modern Gwich’in Nation to get facial markings.

Join us for the Great Thanksgiving Listen!

This year, as we celebrate 20 years of the stories that matter, we have a number of opportunities to engage listeners in our work. Like us, you understand the act of listening has never been more important. That’s why, we will be calling individuals to participate in the annual Great Thanksgiving Listen — an initiative that invites people nationwide to honor someone in their lives by recording their story for future generations. Participants can record an interview with someone in the same room using the free StoryCorps App or record with someone in a different location using our remote recording platform, StoryCorps Connect.

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