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FAQs for Considering Participating...

FAQs: Text

How Do I Participate?

What to expect:

​For people interested in getting matched for a conversation, the first step is to fill out the One Small Step Questionnaire

  • Your responses will help us find the best conversation partner for you. Remember: People are complex - and rarely, if ever, “exact opposites.” We’ll read your answers carefully to pair you with someone with a perspective different from your own. Fruitful matching takes time, so we thank you in advance for your patience.

  • If we find a match for you, we’ll reach out to hear more about your goals. When we schedule the One Small Step conversation, we share materials to help you prepare.

  • The One Small Step conversation will take place at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library.

What is Participation Like?

The One Small Step Experience:

  • At your One Small Step appointment, you meet your conversation partner, and a facilitator provides an orientation, ground rules, and suggested questions. 

  • When ready, the facilitator starts the recording and helps you begin the conversation by prompting 4 kick-off questions. After that, participants drive the conversation by choosing more questions and listening with an open mind. 

  • The conversation lasts about 50 minutes, and the whole process takes 75-90 minutes (including time for addressing tech issues, the orientation, and a post-conversation debrief and paperwork). 

What is the Commitment?

Participant Agency and Privacy: 

  • Your comfort level and consent in this process is our first priority. 

  • You drive the conversation. You choose what questions to discuss, and you can decide to conclude the conversation at any time. The facilitator’s chief role is to ensure you and your partner both feel comfortable, respected and in control during the discussion. They may suggest follow-up questions, but all questions are optional.  

  • After the recording ends: you decide whether you want to share it with our website, StoryCorps and the Library of Congress. There is no obligation to share. You can keep the conversation private if you wish. You can also share the conversation, but keep your name/identity anonymous. 

  • Regardless of your decision, you and your conversation partner receive a digital copy of the recording.

  • The recording can be preserved in the StoryCorps collection at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. - if both participants agree to share it.


Tested and safe, One Small Step conversations are:

  • Hosted virtually by a trained facilitator 

  • Seamless, powerful, and respectful

  • Archived as part of American history at the Library of Congress, if you choose

  • Never shared without your permission

FAQs: List
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FAQS For Participants

If I sign up, am I guaranteed to participate?

Unfortunately with limited capacity, we can’t guarantee a conversation for every person who applies. 

Should I try to find my own partner for a One Small Step conversation? What if I already have a partner in mind?

The program is designed to help you meet with someone new and different, and we take care of matching you with a partner.

How should I prepare for a One Small Step conversation? 

The single most important thing is to come with an open mind, curiosity, and a genuine desire to listen to and connect with someone new. It also helps to reflect on what your goals for the experience are.

We provide suggested questions, and you’re welcome to bring your own. Spend some time beforehand thinking about which questions you want to explore (as well as anything you’d prefer to keep off-limits). You may find it helpful to think about some of your own answers, and reflect on any particular stories and experiences from your life that might help illustrate them. But ultimately, there’s no need to over-prepare. These conversations are meant to be unscripted. You are not expected to have all the answers, or to be a “spokesperson” for any particular point of view. Simply come ready to be yourself

What does it mean to “give permission” to share my recorded conversation?

After you finish the conversation, the Facilitator will talk with you about whether you’d like to allow the station and StoryCorps to have a copy of the recording. You grant permission by signing a Release Form (we provide a copy in advance of your appointment to review). Signing a Release Form allows StoryCorps to archive the recording with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., as well as add your conversation to their Online Archive Collection. It also allows us to receive a copy of the recording and potentially publish/broadcast a portion of it. If you (or your conversation partner) decide not to sign the release form, the recording will not be archived or broadcast. StoryCorps will not keep a copy, and the station will not receive a copy. Regardless of your decision, you and your conversation partner will both receive the audio of the conversation to share with family and friends.

When and how do I get a copy of my recording? 

It takes about 4-6 weeks to process StoryCorps recordings. Once your recording is processed, you’ll receive an email from StoryCorps with a link to a digital copy of it.

Does it cost anything to participate?

No, participation is free of charge.

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