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