Sesame Street adding new muppets, special content to talk about race and identity

Entertainment

Courtesy of Sesame Workshop

NEW YORK — Some new muppets are learning how to get to Sesame Street to discuss some serious topics with the show’s young audience.

The long-running program is releasing new content under the banner of “Coming Together.”

“Coming Together is rooted in extensive research and consultation with experts to develop a groundbreaking racial justice educational framework and curriculum for young children,” a spokesperson for Sesame Workshop said in a press release. “Like the science-based whole-child model that Sesame Street is known for, this framework will help guide and inform the creation of new Sesame Workshop content going forward — including future seasons of Sesame Street.”

The show’s new “ABCs of Racial Literacy” resources will be headlined by two new muppets, 5-year-old Wes and his father Elijah. In one video, Elmo wants to know why Wes’ skin is brown and Elijah explains the concept of melanin and that the color of our skin is an important part of who people are. Sesame Workshop says that more videos will be coming soon.

“At Sesame Workshop, we look at every issue through the lens of a child. Children are not colorblind—not only do they first notice differences in race in infancy, but they also start forming their own sense of identity at a very young age,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President, Sesame Workshop. “‘The ABCs of Racial Literacy’ is designed to foster open, age-appropriate conversations among families and support them in building racial literacy. By encouraging these much-needed conversations through Coming Together, we can help children build a positive sense of identity and value the identities of others.”

Many of the resources are already available to parents and children here.

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