We Talk and the Fetzer Institute were pleased to bring Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps, an ongoing national oral history project, and the One Small Step initiative to Kalamazoo on March 28 and 29, 2022. Isay spoke about this work in a public presentation held in the Fetzer Center’s Kirsch Auditorium on March 29. More than 120 campus and community members gathered to hear about these recorded personal interviews and narratives are helping to change perspectives and ease polarization in individuals, families, communities and organizations.
One Small Step is an off shoot of StoryCorps, the national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs. One Small Step is a multi-year effort that brings together strangers of differing perspectives for courageous and meaningful conversations about their lives. These small but effective interventions help decrease feelings of contempt across political divides, allowing Americans to see one another as human beings.
Developed over the past three years by StoryCorps with the input of scientists, researchers and psychologists, the initiative records 40-minute conversations among unlikely pairings of individuals in today’s hyper-partisan and politically charged environment. Conversations recorded for One Small Step are not about politics, but rather about who we are as people: what we care about and our dreams for the future. Every interview becomes part of American history at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (with participant permission).
Read more about We Talk's partnership with the Fetzer Institute at WMU News.
Open Classrooms with Dr. Lisa Gale
Dr. Lisa Gale, StoryCorps chief program officer, led an inspiring discussion with WMU students on how to discover the humanity in the people we disagree with through conversation to ease polarization at home, in the classroom and the workplace.
6 p.m., Monday, March 28
Jet's Pizza Party
Lee Honors College Lounge
Dr. Lisa Gale, StoryCorps chief program officer, led an inspiring discussion with WMU students, faculty and staff on how to discover the humanity in the people we disagree with through conversation to ease polarization at home, in the classroom and the workplace.
2 p.m., Tuesday, March 29
Sangren Hall Room 1920
Dave Isay on StoryCorps and one small step
Dave Isay gave a public presentation about StoryCorps and One Small Step to more than 120 campus and community members about this important work based on personal interviews and narratives.
5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 29
Fetzer Center Kirsch Auditorium
Video recording and OSS participation information coming soon!
One Small Step pairs strangers with different beliefs for a 50-minute conversation–about their lives, not about politics. The growing divisions in our country pose a threat to our democracy. Participate in One Small Step and become part of the solution.
- StoryCorps on 60 Minutes (January 9, 2022)
thank you to our sponsors
Stephanie and Ed Fletcher—We Talk Founding Sponsors