One Small Step brings together neighbors of different perspective for a 50-minute recorded conversation. Photo by Priscilla du Preez on

published on January 10, 2022 - 12:00 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

Wanted: Fresno area residents with political opinions made for radio.

StoryCorps, a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving and sharing stories from Americans of all backgrounds, has picked Fresno as one of two new markets for its One Small Step initiative. The multi-year effort’s goal is “to help combat toxic polarization one conversation at a time.

Fresno joins Oklahoma City as new 2022 One Small Step anchor cities.

One Small Step brings people with different political views together for a recorded 50-minute conversation – not about politics, but about who they are as people, according to a news release. This year StoryCorps will rely on its free recording tools to record conversations as Covid-19 case rates rise. Participants can record in person or remotely. With participant permission, interviews are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

In each community, StoryCorps works with local community leaders and organizations to recruit participants who are partnered with fellow residents with different perspectives for a conversation.

This is the third year for One Small Step. Current anchor communities include Richmond, Virginia and Wichita, Kansas. Shreveport, Louisiana and Birmingham, Alabama are former anchor communities.

Locally, StoryCorps segments can be heard on Fresno’s NPR affiliate KVPR 89.3 FM.

“One Small Step is a moonshot effort to counteract, one conversation at a time, the culture of contempt in this country,” said StoryCorps Founder and President Dave Isay. “We believe that the communities of Richmond, Wichita, Oklahoma City, and California’s Central Valley can show all Americans what’s possible when we take time to listen to folks with whom we disagree and begin to see each other as human beings again.

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