A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Cronkright in Congress

What is it like to be interviewed by the National Public Radio and Story Corps? Social studies teacher Pam Cronkright is one of the lucky people to know. Cronkright said, “I did not realize how open ended it would be.” She described it as a captured conversation between her and Immaculee Makantagonira, a genocide survivor, without many questions being asked.

Story Corps is known for featuring three-minute stories in America. Cronkright and Makantagonira were interviewed on August 16, 2017 at Skokie, Illinois’ Holocaust Museum. It was voted as 2017 Museum of the Year, so Story Corps and NPR teamed together to interview people who attended the 2012 genocide conference. Cronkright said, “I am a big geek when it comes to Story Corps, so to get to be in one was a big honor.”

Makantagonira and Cronkright discussed how they met and what they did together in Rwanda, Makantagonira’s home country. When she first met Makantagonira, Cronkright jokingly said she would “love to see what you’re talking about,” in reference to Makantagonira’s home.

Makantagonira took this request seriously and soon they were planning their trip in 2013 to “Africa’s Bellybutton.” Three years later, a well was installed for $14,000, with the help of

OTHS and other sponsors, as a memorial to Makantagonira’s two daughters killed in the Rwandan genocide.

Cronkright and Makantagonira’s story is archived in the Library of Congress, Holocaust Museum, and online, making it an official part of history for the rest of time for anyone to access and listen to.