Sesame Street to Host Town Hall with Hopes of Educating Kids About Racism and Recent Protests
Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism airs Saturday at 10 a.m. ET on CNN
The children's program and CNN will host a town hall on Saturday, titled Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism. The special will be hosted by CNN's Van Jones and Erica Hill alongside Sesame Street's Big Bird and friends, including Abby Cadabby, Elmo and his dad Louie, Gabrielle and Rosita.
The hosting team will also consist of cast members Roscoe Orman and Sonia Manzano, as well as Sesame Workshop Senior Vice President of U.S. Social Impact, Dr. Jeanette Betancourt.
The upcoming town hall, focused on discussing empathy and embracing diversity, comes after Sesame Street and CNN aired their The ABCs of COVID-19 program in April, which helped children and parents deal with issues surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
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Also that month, Elmo hosted a half-hour "virtual playdate" special about finding new ways to learn online and discover fun things to do at home all while celebrating front-line heroes, such as EMTs and doctors.
Following the death of George Floyd on May 25, protests against police brutality and systemic racism unfolded across the country. The killing of Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck, has outraged many Americans, who have continued to storm their cities.
Sesame Street released a statement in response to the protests. "Racism has no place on our Street — or on any street. Sesame Street was built on diversity, inclusion and especially kindness," the series said on Twitter.
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"Today and every day we stand together with our Black colleagues, partners, collaborators and the entire Black community," the tweet continued. "We stand with our friends around the globe to speak out against racism, to promote understanding and to create a world that is smarter, stronger and kinder."
Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism airs Saturday at 10 a.m. ET on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español. It will also stream live on CNN.com.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.