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StoryCorps In Kansas City — Finding A Life That Is 'Enough'

KCUR 89.3
Joanna Berkebile, left, and Stacey Todd.

KCUR is part of StoryCorps' One Small Step initiative to bring together people of differing political opinions for real conversations. This is one we've chosen to highlight.

Joanna Berkebile and Stacey Todd have lived very different lives. Berkebile intentionally set down roots in Kansas City, working as a realtor. She's also active in the city's arts scene and has found a strong sense of community there.

"I'm not super politically active, but I'm active in my community," Berkebile saidto Todd. "[But I'm] not afraid to speak my mind wherever I am. That has ripples and reverberations around me."

Todd, on the other hand, has spent many years working as a StoryCorps facilitator, which takes her across the country. 

"I see somebody like you, who is involved in their community, and it makes me very wistful," Todd said. "I want to find a home and a place to settle down. When I was in my early 20s, I moved to California, when I was in my mid 20s I moved to New York City and spent eight-ish years there."

Politically, both women are different as well. Berkebile said her parents are one-issue, anti-abortion voters.

"My parents were afraid to talk about politics, but they didn't approach politics head on," Berkebile said. "I tend to vote towards fiscal or economic issues, rather than social issues."

Todd has strong feelings about social issues, especially regulations and restrictions related to women's reproductive rights.

"I couldn't vote for somebody who wants to make government small except for regulating a woman's body," Todd said. "This idea of less regulation, less regulation, except when it comes to you, ladies, you don't get to decide what to do with your body — I personally couldn't vote for somebody who portrayed themselves in that way."

Though they both vote for different reasons and focus on different issues, both agreed that a sustainable life was what they want.

"My life distills down to: I want peace and to have enough," Berkebile said.

"Yes!" Todd interjected.

"Enough food, enough material posessions, enough community — I don't need it all," Berkebile said. "And I would prefer to be changed a little bit with every interaction that I have with people rather than try to change them."

Click or tap here to learn more about Storycorps' One Small Step and sign up to be part of it.

Matthew Long-Middleton is a community producer for KCUR 89.3. Follow him on Twitter @MLMIndustries.

Ron Jones is KCUR's director of community engagement.

Cody Newill is an audience development specialist for KCUR 89.3. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill.

Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.
Ron Jones returned to KCUR in September, 2013 as Director of Community Engagement. He is now the program director. You can reach him at ron@kcur.org.
Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer, Media Training Manager and now the Community Engagement Manager at KCUR. You can reach him at Matthew@kcur.org, or on Twitter @MLMIndustries.
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