Fresno/Central Valley, CA is one of four Anchor Communities (along with Oklahoma City, OK; Richmond, VA; and Wichita, KS) where StoryCorps is focusing its One Small Step efforts. Each community is distinctly different, and each is partnering with StoryCorps to implement One Small Step in its own way. If One Small Step can succeed in the Anchor Communities, we believe the effort can be scaled nationwide.

StoryCorps’ Founder and President Dave Isay was recently interviewed by the conservative radio station KMJ 580 and their host, Christopher Gabriel, to discuss One Small Step and how the program aims to overcome toxic polarization. Listen to their conversation. KMJ is also running public service announcements about One Small Step.

On Sunday Morning Matters, hosted by Alexan Balekian on the local NBC affiliate station, Dave talks about the initiative and why StoryCorps is prioritizing the Central Valley. Watch their discussion. Dave and One Small Step were also featured in the Fresno Bee (pay wall).

For Darren Rose, who helped organize Dave’s visit and whose public relations firm, Rose Strategic Communications, partners with StoryCorps to spread the word, One Small Step is personal. Darren used to work in politics and said he feels that the desire to work across the political aisle has eroded. “We used to all work together, no matter our party affiliation. Now, we never work together,” he said. “All of my colleagues in their late 40s and early 50s recognize that things are broken. Working on One Small Step is one way we can help overcome this divide,” Darren continued.

For Darren, the best part of Dave’s visit was seeing how people reacted to the idea of One Small Step. “People are very receptive to the message that we need to overcome toxic polarization,” he said. “I’m grateful Fresno and the Central Valley is one of StoryCorps’ Anchor Communities to help facilitate necessary conversations in our community.”

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