If you’re following StoryCorps, it’s because you understand the importance of stories. You know that they cultivate our wisdom, decrease our fear of the other, and inspire us in every possible way.
StoryCorps has taken its belief in the power of stories and amplified it to an unbelievable scale. The StoryCorps archive at the Library of Congress is already the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered, and it’s still growing.
Sharing my story with StoryCorps more than fifteen years ago gave me a chance to talk about my dreams out loud. And working as a StoryCorps facilitator was a constant source of inspiration. My time with StoryCorps showed me that every single person has a story, and every one of our stories has the potential to change somebody’s outlook on life.
I don’t care who or where you are…this year was hard for you. This year was complicated for you. We’re all seeing ourselves in different ways, communicating in different ways, and our stories have evolved. Now, more than ever, they need to be told. Division, otherness and fear are ripping our social fabric into jagged pieces. To restitch and repair our nation we must dig deep into our wells of understanding and compassion, and reconnect through the kinds of stories produced only by authentically sharing the most meaningful and authentic parts of ourselves with each other.
That’s what StoryCorps does. They use stories to sew our national tapestry of hope, trying to keep us whole in the face of hatred and division. That’s why I’ll always be a StoryCorps supporter.
Storytelling is about bearing witness. It’s about seeing and being seen. It’s about hearing and being heard. And there’s no person I’ve ever met who doesn’t want, at least a little bit, to be understood by someone else. StoryCorps gives us a platform upon which to build that understanding. They’ve even adapted to the demands of the pandemic by creating a virtual storytelling platform, giving even greater reach and accessibility to this important work.
Will you join me in supporting StoryCorps? Their work has never been more vital. Despite their awesome accomplishments so far, there are still tens of millions of Americans who feel unseen and unheard, at great cost to us all. With your help, StoryCorps can continue to grow their reach to preserve and share humanity’s stories, providing us all with inspiration, courage, and hope.
StoryCorps Board Member
Listen to an excerpt from Jason Reynolds’s 2006 StoryCorps interview.
Photo Credit: James J. Reddington