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“It’s impossible not to love someone whose story you have heard.”

The beloved children’s TV host Mister Rogers carried that quote in his wallet, to remind him of the importance of listening.

Storytelling + listening can connect residents of a divided city: @Storycorps #onthetable2016

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Coming together, talking—and listening—to our neighbors has never been more important. It is a critical step toward creating a more unified Chicago. That is what On the Table, which unites tens of thousands of Chicagoans in conversation on a single day in May, is all about.

In the first of a series, the Trust’s Daniel Ash talks with award-winning radio producer and StoryCorps founder David Isay to hear his take on how getting to know someone as a human being—the act of listening to their story—is essential to strengthening our communities and building social capital.

Says Isay: “Having authentic, honest conversations where you see people who you might have felt were different than you, or feared, or whatever it is—the power is immeasurable of what that can do.”

Hear more in their own words: