Featured Editorial

Anti-Racism Educational Resources from Sesame Street and PBS KIDS

Racial inequality is a centuries old topic gaining long overdue attention due to a series of undeniable events igniting a national and international level call to action. Peaceful racial protests taking place across our country and even around the world demand anti-racist policies set into place to end racism and bring to justice all actions violating basic civil rights for all people. Sharing resources for young learners to gain realistic perspective and trustworthy information on racism and anti-racist activism is a cause we're committed to on a personal level. Addressing race-related issues in family-friendly special programs, PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism, and The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special are available to support and encourage informative discussions. Whether talking about differences in race, understanding what racism is and how it is happening each day, or advocating for ourselves and one another through activism, there's a wealth of  knowledge and inspiration available for social awareness. Take a look at the anti-racism educational resources from Sesame Street and PBS KIDS for young learners. 

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Anti-Racism Educational Resources from Sesame Street and PBS KIDS 

Premiering on October 9th, PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism is a half-hour program featuring authentic conversations between real children and their parents, and with content from popular PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Arthur, and Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. Opening up the opportunity for family discussions, kids and their parents talking candidly about race and racial justice-related topics in an age-appropriate format serves as a valuable anti-racism resource. 

The special will debut as part of PBS KIDS Family Night on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel, on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings), and streaming on pbskids.org, the PBS KIDS Video app and on PBS KIDS’ Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram pages. 

“PBS KIDS believes kids are capable of understanding and talking through tough, but important issues with the adults in their lives – something that has been core to our mission for the last 50 years,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “Through the PBS Kids Talk About: Race and Racism special, our goal is to support parents in talking with their children about race, anti-Black racism in our country, and how to be actively anti-racist. Parents have increasingly asked us for these resources, and we hope that this special will provide a helpful starting point in whatever way they choose to have these conversations with their children.”

“PBS KIDS Talk About,” previously an online-only video series, models authentic and practical parent-child conversations that reflect PBS KIDS’ core values of kindness and curiosity, and has included real families addressing topics such as feelings and emotions, relationships and family, curiosity and wonder, bravery and courage, and self-confidence and determination.

To support this new offering, PBS KIDS provides a variety of resources to help parents talk to young children about race and racism. This resource hub on PBS KIDS for Parents includes articles, a webinar, booklists, links to programming, and more tips and resources to help parents have meaningful conversations with young children about race, racism, and being anti-racist.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, premiers The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special. Created as an educational viewing experience for children and families, The Power of We features Elmo and Abby Cadabby, joined by 6-year-old Muppet Gabrielle and her cousin, 8-year-old Tamir, learning "how to become "upstanders" to unfair treatment based on skin, or fur color."

"Sesame Street has the ability to entertain children while explaining complex issues like no other program and equips families and caregivers with the support they need to have empathetic conversations," said Kay Wilson Stallings, Executive Vice President of Creative and Production at Sesame Workshop. "We believe that this moment calls for a direct discussion about racism to help children grasp the issues and teach them that they are never too young to be 'upstanders' for themselves, one another, and their communities."

Current and former Sesame Street human cast members Alan, Charlie, Chris, and Gordon take part in the special with celebrity guests- Yara Shahidi, Christopher Jackson, and Andra Day. The Power of We includes two new songs- How Do You Know? and Listen, Act, Unite!" the latter written and performed by Christopher Jackson featuring Andra Day.

Sesame Workshop has created a companion guide for families and caregivers to use as they discuss the special with children, available at SesameStreet.org/PowerofWe.
Coupled with the CNN Town Hall "Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism," this special expands on Sesame Workshop's long history of modeling inclusivity in its storylines and diverse cast of Muppets, human cast members, and guest stars. The Workshop will continue to tackle racism and its impact on children through an array of programming and Sesame Street in Communities content for families and caregivers.

The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special will stream on HBO Max and PBS KIDS starting Thursday, October 15, and debut on PBS stations the same day (check local listings). The special will also re-air throughout October and November on PBS stations and the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel (check local listings).

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