'Sesame Street' hosts town hall on racism to help parents have open conversations with kids

Elmo, Big Bird, Abby Cadabby were all there.
June 8, 2020 2:34 p.m. EST
June 8, 2020 2:34 p.m. EST
CNN and beloved long-running children’s show Sesame Street joined forces over the weekend, hosting a virtual town hall entitled, “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism,” for parents and children seeking to talk about the difficult but highly relevant subject. Hosted by CNN anchors Van Jones and Erica Hill, the show featured some favourite Sesame Street muppets like Elmo, Big Bird, Abby Cadabby and more, all encouraging kids to make a change and to raise their voices when they witness or experience intolerance.“Not all streets are like Sesame Street,” Elmo’s dad, Louie, said when Elmo didn’t understand what protesters and racism meant. “On Sesame Street, we all love and respect one another. But across the country, people of colour, especially in the Black community, are being treated unfairly because of how they look, their culture, race and who they are. What we are seeing is people saying ‘Enough is enough.’ They want to end racism.” Abby Cadabby told a story of how she witnessed others bullying Big Bird for his big feathers and his height, and highlighted the need for compassion and empathy that can be easily applied to instances of racially-motivated intolerance or cruelty.[video_embed id='1969664']RELATED: Why talking to kids about racism is so important[/video_embed]“It wasn’t kind, and it wasn’t fair... I wouldn't want to be treated like that. So I understand how Big Bird was upset.” On top of hearing from beloved Muppet characters, the town hall also included Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Drake University professor Jennifer Harvey, who fielded questions from children about how to create change and have meaningful conversations about anti-racism.“Our children learn anti-racism and racial justice from us,” Harvey said. “If they watch us look away when we encounter racism, that’s what they learn the right thing to do is.”Bottoms message to children was simple and powerful; “Keep loving each other. And when you see someone who’s doing something wrong or saying something wrong, say that it's wrong.”[video_embed id='1972310']RELATED: Spike Lee is 'optimistic' about the current Black Lives Matter movement for this reason[/video_embed]

You might also like