StoryCorps Launches Fourth One Small Step Anchor Community In Columbus, Georgia
(Columbus, GA) Wednesday, September 13, 2023—StoryCorps—the national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs—has announced Columbus, Georgia, as its newest One Small Step Anchor Community. One Small Step (OSS) is a two-part initiative: 1) to bring strangers with different political beliefs together—not to debate politics—but to get to know each other as people and 2) a public service campaign to socially
norm the idea that we can see people across the political divides as human beings. In addition to Columbus, the initiative is focused in three other communities nationwide, and to date, more than 4,200 people in 40 states have participated in an OSS conversation.
“Columbus is an extraordinary and vibrant community that we’ve fallen in love with,” said StoryCorps Founder and President Dave Isay. “We believe Columbus can show the rest of the country what it means to have the courage to listen to those with whom we might disagree.”
StoryCorps received funding from The Marcus Foundation and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to bring OSS to Columbus.
“We believe in the power of storytelling to make individual human connections that will build stronger communities over time,” said Jay Kaiman, president, The Marcus Foundation. “We’re pleased to partner with our friends at the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to bring One Small Step to the people of Columbus, who have rich, valuable stories and experiences to share.”
”We’re proud to partner with The Marcus Foundation to support the efforts of One Small Step to help people bridge differences and engage with each other in more pluralistic ways,” said Fay Twersky, president, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “It’s through these moments of personal connection that people with different viewpoints begin to change the way we see each other, embracing our differences with curiosity and respect so that we move closer together rather than farther apart.”
About One Small Step
Launched in 2021, OSS is based on Contact Theory, which states that meaningful interaction between people with opposing views can turn “thems” into “us-es.” In addition to Columbus, OSS Anchor Communities include Fresno/Central Valley, California; Richmond, Virginia; and Wichita, Kansas. In each location, StoryCorps collaborates with a broad spectrum of community leaders and organizations to raise awareness and drive participation in the effort. OSS will officially launch in Columbus with a press conference on September 13, 2023, at the National Infantry Museum. For more information about OSS in Columbus, visit takeonesmallstep.org/Columbus. For more information about OSS, visit takeonesmallstep.org.
One Small Step is made possible by the generous support of The Hearthland Foundation, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, The Marcus Foundation, the Walmart Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Fetzer Institute, Stand Together Trust, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Robins Foundation, New Pluralists, and Schwab
Charitable Fund made possible by the generosity of Present Progressive Fund.
Founded in 2003, StoryCorps has given over 645,000 people, in all 50 states, the chance to record interviews about their lives. StoryCorps helps people believe in each other by illuminating the possibility and humanity in all of us—one story at a time. The award-winning organization preserves the recordings in its archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the largest single collection of
human voices ever gathered, and shares select stories with the public through StoryCorps’ podcast, radio broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books. These powerful human stories reflect the vast range of American experiences, engender empathy and connection, and remind us how much more we have in common than what divides us. StoryCorps is especially committed to
capturing and amplifying voices least heard in the media. The StoryCorps MobileBooth, an Airstream trailer that has been transformed into a traveling recording booth, crisscrosses the country year-round gathering the stories of people nationwide. 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of StoryCorps. Learn more at storycorps.org.