Sesame Street and CNN to Host a Kid-Focused Town Hall About Racism and the Recent Protests
This weekend, CNN and Sesame Street are teaming up for a program called "Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism” to talk to kids about racism, diversity, and the nationwide protests that have broken out after a police officer killed George Floyd.
The 60-minute special will take the form of a town hall, where experts—and Sesame Street Muppets, including Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and Rosita—respond to questions sent in by viewers beforehand. If you have a question you’d like them to consider answering, you can fill out the digital form below the CNN article here.
Big Bird, CNN commentator Van Jones, and CNN anchor Erica Hill will moderate the program, which will be broadcast on CNN, CNN International, and CNN en Español this Saturday, June 6, at 10 a.m. EST. You can also stream it on CNN.com’s homepage or a CNN mobile app, no cable login required. It’s not the first time this year that the Sesame Street Muppets have stepped up to cover current events—back in April, CNN and Sesame Street hosted a similar town hall centered on COVID-19, and the Sesame Workshop also launched a landing site with more resources to help kids and families adjust to life during the pandemic.
Sesame Street has been championing racial justice and diversity since its inception in 1969. It was created with the help of Dr. Chester Pierce, founder of the Black Psychiatrists of America, who saw it as an opportunity to offset the implicit racism present in other programs on the air. With its multicultural cast and themes of inclusivity and self-respect, the program worked (and continues to work) as a positive societal model for children of all races and economic backgrounds. The show addressed racism directly in a 1993 episode where Gina receives an anonymous phone call condemning her interracial friendship with Savion, and it’s also tackled other tough topics, from the 9/11 attacks to HIV/AIDS.