The Great Thanksgiving Listen

The Great Thanksgiving Listen

“Asking questions and listening intently to the stories that emerge is one of the most powerful forces in the world. If we all take one hour this year to do it, we’ll strengthen our national fabric at a time when it desperately needs it. “ –Dave Isay, StoryCorps founder and president

The 2016 Great Thanksgiving Listen

Last year, more than 100,000 individuals from all 50 states took part in our national education project that empowers high school students to record conversations with a grandparent or another elder over a single holiday weekend. Working with teachers and students, we preserved tens of thousands of priceless intergenerational stories, and at a time when so many feel their voices aren’t—or weren’t—being heard, the project provides a national platform for listening and empathy.

Students will then be given an opportunity to upload their conversations directly into the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

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“The Great Thanksgiving Listen will foster meaningful connections within families, communities, and classrooms, and has the potential to strengthen our national fabric at a time when we desperately need it,” according to StoryCorps Founder and President Dave Isay. “Students will come away from the project not only knowing more about their elders, and having reminded them that their lives and stories matter, but also having experienced first-hand the power of listening to bring people together.”

In 2016, Dave delivered a follow-up TED Talk in which he shared stories and lessons learned during the inaugural Great Listen. In front of a global audience he played clips of the diverse voices heard in interviews recorded in cities, suburbs, and small towns across the country united by their discussions of universal themes like childhood, family, love, military service, and loss.

This November The Great Thanksgiving Listen will be even bigger and better with a new Teacher Toolkit, upgrades to the app, and a Facebook page for teachers where we will answer questions and connect them with fellow educators.

Together we will preserve more precious wisdom than ever before.

Join the Great Thanksgiving Listen

Click here to download the app and make history with us this November.

Follow along on Facebook and Twitter using #TheGreatListen as we share interview tips, exciting app updates, and highlights from the archives. Know a teacher that would like to participate? Invite them to our StoryCorps in the Classroom Facebook page.

About the StoryCorps App

The StoryCorps mobile app was launched in 2015 using the $1 million TED Prize awarded StoryCorps Founder and President Dave Isay with the goal of taking the StoryCorps experience out of the booth and putting it entirely in the hands of users, enabling anyone, anywhere to record conversations with another person and then easily archive them at the U.S. Library of Congress and on the StoryCorps.me website.

StoryCorps is working with national partners in media, technology and education to activate The Great Thanksgiving Listen in classrooms and school districts throughout the country. Partners include The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, TED and NPR. ABC is the exclusive television partner for this historic effort.

Educational partners include Facing History and Ourselves, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Education Association (NEA), the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), Teach For America (TFA), New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS), and National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY), with additional organizations to be announced.

The Great Thanksgiving Listen is sponsored by Delta Air Lines and Annenberg Learner.

Each week, the StoryCorps podcast shares these unscripted conversations, revealing the wisdom, courage, and poetry in the words of people you might not notice walking down the street.