© 2024 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

StoryCorps: One Small Step

One Small Step conversation partners, Wane and Alton, in Columbus, GA.
SToryCorps
One Small Step conversation partners, Wane and Alton, in Columbus, GA.

For the past 20 years, StoryCorps has been traveling the country gathering the stories and wisdom of ordinary Americans and archiving them at the Library of Congress. Those stories are usually between two people who know and love each other.

This is not one of those stories.

Alton Russell was the long-time Chair of the Republican party in Columbus, Georgia. Wane Hailes was the head of the local NAACP. Although they knew of each other, they had never actually spoken — until they sat down for a One Small Step conversation.

One Small Step pairs strangers with opposing political beliefs to have one-on-one conversations, not to debate politics, but to find out who each other are as people. The goal is to help reduce toxic polarization in the US — one conversation at a time. StoryCorps began piloting One Small Step in 2017 and since then, more than 5,400 people in over 40 states have participated.