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Stories of the Human Heart

Founded in 2003, StoryCorps shares stories to deepen connections between people and create a just, compassionate world. Sandra Clark is the first woman of color to lead the nonprofit as StoryCorps CEO.

By Tiffany James

 

Photo courtesy StoryCorps

 

In February Sandra Clark (Guinea-Bissau 1990–94) took on a new role as CEO of StoryCorps — the nonprofit organization that, through stories, has sought to deepen connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world since its founding in 2003. Clark is the second person and first woman of color to serve as StoryCorps CEO.

During a panel discussion at NPCA’s 2022 Shriver Leadership Summit in March, Clark spoke about how Peace Corps shaped her as a journalist, how StoryCorps’ archive is full of various Volunteer experiences, and how storytelling has the power to connect humanity. “StoryCorps is the thing that makes me believe there are way more people out there who want change, way more people who want to find a space where they can actually problem-solve together and connect with each other,” Clark said. “It’s those basic connections and that empathy that give us some hope. If we have more ways to connect in this kind of way, maybe we can come together and solve the really big problems — because democracy is under siege right now.”

 

“StoryCorps is the thing that makes me believe there are way more people out there who want change, way more people who want to find a space where they can actually problem-solve together and connect with each other.”

 

Prior to StoryCorps, Clark was the vice president for news and civic dialogue at WHYY — the leading PBS and NPR affiliate in Philadelphia — where she managed news operations across multiple media platforms and oversaw the station’s diversity, cultural competency, community engagement, and trust-building initiatives. Clark also brings to the new role years of experience as the managing editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where her leadership led to the paper’s most successful reader engagement initiative and a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2014. She is a longtime DEI advocate who seeks to close the knowledge, power, and trust gap between journalists and communities of color. The Philadelphia Tribune named her one of the Most Influential African American Leaders in 2021.