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StoryCorps Founder Dave Isay’s New Project To Bring Americans Together

StoryCorps creator Dave Isay is working on a new campaign called One Small Step that is meant to start a conversation between people from different backgrounds and beliefs.
StoryCorps creator Dave Isay is working on a new campaign called One Small Step that is meant to start a conversation between people from different backgrounds and beliefs.
Credit Harvey Wang

Dave Isay is the Peabody-award-winning creator of StoryCorps, the largest collection of human voices ever recorded with almost 700,000 participants. Isay is also the author of several books based on his work and a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.

“Our business is the business of human connection,” Isay said. “And a bunch of years ago we began to see this rift in connections in this country across the political divide. The issue is when we start to see each other across the divide as less than human.”

Isay joined “Morning Edition” to talk about One Small Step, a new campaign he is working on that is meant to start a conversation between people from different backgrounds and beliefs.

“One Small Step is an effort to remind the country of the humanity in all of us—even those we disagree with politically,” the project writes on their website.

One Small Step pairs two strangers from different political perspectives, not to talk about politics, but just to get to know each other and to try to find points of human connection.

“As we know from StoryCorps, it’s hard to hate up close,” Isay said.

Isay said that while this project has been in the works for some time, the level of vitriol in recent political rhetoric that culminated with the attack on the U.S. Capitol has given his efforts new meaning.

One Small Step is available for anyone to participate virtually through the organization’s website, and StoryCorps will also continue to collect conversations from anybody who wants to contribute.

Christopher Alston contributed to this report.