Take One Small Step, Birmingham
We can all take small steps to connect with each other through meaningful conversations. Join us in Birmingham as we show the country what it means to have the courage to listen.
What is One Small Step?
For more than 17 years, StoryCorps has connected loved ones for meaningful conversations that document the personal and community histories of our country. One Small Step is a nationwide project created by StoryCorps to help people get past the labels of “Republican” and “Democrat,” “liberal” and “conservative” to find our common humanity and remind Americans of the shared values that unites us.
Birmingham is one of four cities across the United States chosen to lead in this initiative in 2020. Read our announcement here.
From now through 2021, StoryCorps will welcome people from Birmingham to pair with fellow residents for meaningful, intimate, and courageous conversations about their lives. The conversation invites two people who don’t know each other — and may not think they have a single thing in common — to take a moment to reflect upon and share what we care about and the dreams we have for our future generations.
It’s free to participate, and you can join us virtually — from your own home. Ask and answer questions like:
- Who has been the most influential person in your life? What did they teach you?
- Do you ever feel misunderstood by people with different beliefs than you (i.e. by people from “the other side of the aisle”)? How so?
- Is there something about my beliefs that you don’t agree with but still respect?
These conversations are not about politics. They are about who we are as people and what we share as Americans. It’s an opportunity to talk about the life experiences that formed your values, and to listen with respect while learning about the person across from you.
WHAT TO EXPECT from a one small step conversation
StoryCorps created One Small Step to bring together two strangers who may believe they have nothing in common to get to know one another as people and create meaningful connections. Through hundreds of pilot interviews conducted across America, One Small Step is a seamless and powerful experience for anyone who is tired of division and wants to take one small step to do something about the culture of contempt in the U.S.
Participants are strangers with different political perspectives who are matched by StoryCorps.
We share a short autobiography (no last name attached) with each person prior to the interview.
When you come together for a conversation, you and your interview partner agree on the questions.
The recording lasts about 40 minutes. The whole process takes 90 minutes.
Conversations are facilitated over a virtual interview recording platform that allows for participants to engage in this effort in a manner that adheres to COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Each participant will receive a digital copy of the recording, with each participant’s consent to share.
With permission, the recording can also be preserved for future generations in the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
A Story From Birmingham
Partner with Us
We want to activate local communities around this project. To achieve this, StoryCorps is seeking partners that represent various political backgrounds and that can recruit, orient, then enlist their constituents in recording interviews. If you are interested in working side-by-side with StoryCorps to make these exciting and enriching conversations come to life, please contact us at [email protected].
Support For One Small Step
One Small Step is made possible by the generous support of The Hearthland Foundation, the Fetzer Institute, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Charles Koch Institute.