Moury Khan – StoryCorps
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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!

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. 

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. 

StoryCorps’ 20th Anniversary Broadcast Specials

Every Friday this September, StoryCorps’ classic fixture on NPR’s Morning Edition segment is sharing a series of special extended broadcasts that revisit five classic StoryCorps conversations, with updates on where our participants are today. Listen to a few of our favorite classics revisited.

20 Years Later A Couple Reflects On A Tender Moment Captured In The StoryCorps Booth

“I have no idea what I’ll be doing. But I know I’ll be with you.”
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It’s been nearly two decades since Mike Wolmetz got down on one knee at the StoryCorps booth in Grand Central Terminal to propose to Debora Brakarz. Their love story was one of the first we ever broadcast on the radio back in 2004. Now, as StoryCorps marks its 20th anniversary, we’re brought full circle as they return to share their journey—from the proposal to parenting.

A family’s legacy of service, sacrifice, and fatherhood after 9/11

“Today, I'm a police officer with the same unit that my father was a member of.”
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Back in 2007, John Vigiano Sr. shared the story of his two sons — John Vigiano Jr. and Joe Vigiano — who died in the line of duty during the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. At StoryCorps, as we reflect on our past two decades for our anniversary, we check back in with the Vigiano family for an extended reflection on their family’s legacy.

Mom’s Advice to Son With Tough Questions: “To Thine Own Self Be True”

“Did I turn out to be the son you wanted?”
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In their first StoryCorps recording in 2006, 12-year-old Joshua Littman and his mom, Sarah Darer Littman, shared a heartwarming conversation on a range of life topics. For more than a decade, we’ve witnessed Josh and his mother trace his transition into adulthood. Through StoryCorps conversations, we’ve celebrated crucial milestones in Josh and Sarah’s lives. Now, in commemoration of our 20th anniversary, the mother-son duo return to share the next chapter of their lives.

Listen to the original conversation or watch it reimagined as an animation.

Listen to the conversation Josh and Sarah shared in 2011.

Listen to the conversation Josh and Sarah shared in 2017.

Want to listen to more StoryCorps stories?

Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

Life on the Road: Adventures with StoryCorps’ Mobile Tour Staff (August 18 – 24, 2023)

I’m back with another blog post! Last time, I shared a little bit about office life, road life, and my journey on the Mobile Tour so far. This week I’m going to dive a little deeper into the work I do in office.

A lot of my office work involves outreach and setting up partnerships for the Mobile Tour. To ensure that we record a variety of perspectives and experiences that reflect the diverse communities we visit, StoryCorps’ Mobile Tour partners with local community organizations at each stop. They help us spread the word to their members, employees, or customers–encouraging folks to sign up and record. Not only do partnerships allow us to share the recording experience with people who aren’t already familiar with StoryCorps, they also give us the opportunity to collaboratively amplify voices and stories that are often overlooked.

Because the Mobile Tour visits 10 cities a year (for 4-6 weeks in each stop), the team always has our hands on projects in multiple cities at once. As our tour travels, our office team keeps us prepared for all of the upcoming stops along the way. This month, my work in office included:

  • -Confirming participants’ appointments in Green Bay, Wisconsin (our current tour stop); 
  • -Meeting with partners alongside Sarah, our Community Partnerships Manager, in preparation for our next stop in St. Louis, Missouri; 
  • -Reaching out to organizations with cold calls about potential partnerships in Mobile, Alabama, where we’ll be in late October; and
  • -Conducting research on the region and organizations we might want to partner with in Lafayette, Louisiana, which is our final stop of 2023.  
The booth parked at our current stop in Green Bay. Photo Credit: arte Veraliz.

As a facilitator, I love having the opportunity to work on outreach and develop future partnerships with organizations who will help us make each Mobile Tour a success. Researching hundreds of amazing organizations, calling community leaders, and building excitement with partners whose community members I’ll eventually greet at the booth adds meaning to the stories that we record through outreach.

We set aside some recording appointments for partners, giving them first access to reserve times for their community members to record their stories before we open up appointments to the general public. Recording your story with StoryCorps is free for participants and partners alike. Depending on need, our team also staffs full-day field recording events with organizations–where we take our recording set-up to their site. Here’s me and a fuzzy friend during a field recording day on a cactus farm near Terlingua, Texas, where we partnered with The School of Constructive Arts to record stories with locals who are developing sustainable living projects in this remote region.

I get personally invested in many of our partnerships – it’s exciting to see them proceed from our initial outreach to the recording booth. It’s amazing to see the partners that I researched, bring participants into the booth months later while I’m facilitating.

For example, I got to record with participants from some great organizations in Kalamazoo, Michigan back in July that I had done outreach with during an office stint in May.

Facilitating a conversation between Woods, Melody and Choker, Ashley.

Given that most Mobile facilitators are on the road for just one year, I’m sad that I won’t be able to see some of the stops and partnerships that I’m currently researching take shape. However, I’m comforted by the idea that though I will eventually leave the road, StoryCorps continues traveling and reaching new corners of the country. As countless facilitators, participants, and partnerships have brought meaning to the Mobile Tour over the past 18 years of the program, we’ve each taken part in creating something bigger than all of us.

Did you miss our last post? Read it here!

Life on the Road: Adventures with StoryCorps’ Mobile Tour Staff (August 10 – 17, 2023)

Welcome back to our Mobile Tour Blog Series! I’m Manuela, a Bilingual Facilitator on the StoryCorps Mobile Tour. I started traveling with the Tour back in October 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. After exploring Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Michigan, I’m now entering into the final two months of my year-long Mobile journey.

There have been ups and downs, unique experiences and stories, and, for me, a few different haircuts. Through it all, I’ve cherished my adventures with the Mobile Tour team over the last 10 months.

If you remember my colleague Sarah’s posts from last year, you’ll recall that in each Mobile Tour stop we have three team members on the ground: two facilitators and a site manager. A third facilitator spends a few weeks to a month at home doing their remote “office stint” before rotating back onto the road for their “road stint.” Right now, I’m hanging back from road time in my final office stint, working remotely for four weeks from Brooklyn where I live part-time.

Being in-office means researching future stops, building partnerships with organizations across the country, playing phone-tag with participants, and working with our amazing office team: Sarah, our Community Partnerships Manager, Quin, our Participant Relations Associate, and Lea, our Mobile Tour Director! 

Office time also means home time. Though I haven’t lived in Brooklyn long, it’s so special to have the chance to be with friends, explore New York City, and generally catch my breath before going back out on the road. I’m soaking up time with my loved ones before I head out at the end of August, joining the team in Green Bay, Wisconsin for my final road stint.

As I start the last leg of my time on the Mobile Tour, I find myself reflecting on the people, places, and questions we’ve encountered. Rolling around the country in a pretty unique job inevitably leads to curiosity about the many moving parts of our lives! I thought I’d share with you some real questions frequently asked to my colleagues and I while traveling on the road.

Manuela’s FAQS:

Q: Do you sleep in the airstream?

A: I am thankful to share that no, we do not sleep in the airstream. We live together in housing arranged by the radio station we partner with at each stop, which has included (but is not limited to): Airbnbs, long-term hotel suites, and the spare homes of stop partners. We do little things to make each place feel like home – for instance, my colleagues Delilah, Franchesca, and I each kept flowers in our hotel suites in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Q: Do you drive “that thing” yourself? 

A: The answer is no – the Mobile Facilitators do not have to haul the airstream (a gift to drivers everywhere). We hire a professional to haul our airstream to each new stop while we make the road trip in our StoryCorps vehicles. Here’s my old co-facilitator, Naomi, scraping snow off of our minivan during our wintry stop in Taos, New Mexico!

Q: What is the most memorable conversation you’ve facilitated?

A: After facilitating nearly 200 conversations, it’s difficult to choose just one. Every single recording I’ve facilitated is special to me – I’ve learned so much bearing witness to heartfelt expressions of love, tears, and wisdom in the booth. In my first few weeks on the Mobile Tour in San Antonio, Texas, still feeling disoriented from the whirlwind of starting a new life on the road, I do recall a conversation that grounded me in just how special this work is. As mother and daughter Conchetta Brown (65) and Nidera Brown (43) reflected on their relationship, death, and remembrance, I felt myself really start to understand what a gift it is to listen. You can listen to their full conversation here – I recommend playing from 6:05 to 10:40.