One Small Step: Moving Towards Dialogue

Applied ICDRengers, Carrie. (2021, November 21. “It’s hard to hate up close”: How Wichita’s are taking One Small Step to bridge the political divideThe Wichita Eagle.

It’s hard to hate up close. (Dave Isey, founder of both StoryCorps and One Small Step)

“Wichita is a test market for One Small Step, which brings together pairs of people with differing beliefs for approximately 40-minute recorded discussions aimed at conquering dehumanization across political lines. The point is to search for common ground – not in politics, but in humanity.

Like StoryCorps’ vignettes, One Small Step’s conversations will be stored at the Library of Congress.

…’We’re all socialized to move immediately into debate, and debate is a game to win,’ [Peter T.] Coleman said. He said One Small Step isn’t about debate but dialogue.” (emphasis added)


One Small Step by StoryCorps

Applied ICDStoryCorps has started a new project, One Small Step, as a tool for encouraging dialogue.

“Over the last 15 years, StoryCorps has perfected a method for helping people feel more connected and for reminding us of the inherent worth of every person and every story. People come together to have otherwise impossible conversations, using our tools and questions. The microphone gives them license to talk about things they otherwise might not discuss.

Now, we are doing something different. We are asking people with different political views to record a StoryCorps interview with each other. Why? To break down boundaries created by politics and remember our shared humanity. To remind us that we have more in common than divides us and that treating those with whom we disagree with decency and respect is essential to a functioning democracy.

With One Small Step, we are seeking to counteract intensifying political divides, by facilitating and recording conversations that enable people who disagree to listen to each other with respect.”

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