StoryCorps’ ‘One Small Step’ Initiative looking for 50 people

ST. PETERSBURG — WUSF is excited to be one of just six public media stations selected nationwide to participate in a new StoryCorps’ initiative designed to reclaim America’s civil discourse. One Small Step aims to break down boundaries created by politics and remind us of our shared humanity.

Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and StoryCorps, One Small Step brings two people together who have differing political perspectives and asks them questions that reach the core of their beliefs, and the emotional experiences that brought them there.

The purpose of these interviews is to provide an opportunity for people to share personal feelings and experiences and to enable those who disagree to listen to each other with respect. Rather than spark further political debates, One Small Step encourages answers to questions such as: “Was there a moment, event, or person in your life that shaped your political views?” or “What scares you most when you think about the future?”

These kinds of questions help people discover the root of their own political stances on various issues. The format allows participants and listeners who may disagree on policy to understand better why others may feel differently. There is no blame, no right answer, only lived experiences that participants can share with one another.

To date, StoryCorps has collected interviews with over 500,000 Americans. These conversations are then preserved for posterity at the Library of Congress, which is where the One Small Step stories will also be stored. In recent participant and listener surveys, 88 percent of participants said that StoryCorps made them feel “connected to people of different backgrounds.”

WUSF is eager to hear from voices in the Tampa Bay and hopes to obtain a diverse selection of participants for One Small Step. All backgrounds and opinions are welcomed and encouraged. For those interested in participating, please visit WUSF online at www.wusf.usf.edu and click on the “One Small Step” tile for more information.

Click here to begin the process and have your voice preserved for posterity at the Library of Congress.

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