Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, is releasing new resources to support families in talking to their children about race and racism. The “ABCs of Racial Literacy” is part of Coming Together, Sesame Workshop’s ongoing commitment to racial justice.
Tools to build racial literacy
Designed to provide families with the tools they need to build racial literacy, to have open conversations with young children, to engage allies and advocates to become upstanders against racism, and more, Coming Together includes a racial justice educational framework, ongoing research, and a rolling release of new content on SesameWorkshop.org/ComingTogether.
Racial justice education
Coming Together is rooted in extensive research and consultation with experts to develop a groundbreaking Racial Justice educational framework and curriculum for young children. 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.
“At Sesame Workshop, we look at every issue through the lens of a child. Children are not colourblind—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.”
The new ‘ABCs of Racial Literacy’ resources launched last week are designed to help all families celebrate their own unique identities, while also providing age-appropriate language and strategies to answer sometimes-tough questions around race and racism.
Celebrating unique identities
In one video featuring two new Muppets, 5-year-old Wes and his father Elijah, Elmo wants to know why Wes’s skin is brown. Elijah explains the concept of melanin and that the colour of our skin is an important part of who we are. In a new music video, the Sesame Street Muppets celebrate their own unique identities; the song, “Giant,” is available on all major platforms through Warner Music Group’s Arts Music.
Racial Literacy Resources
The new Coming Together: The ABCs of Racial Literacy resources are available at no cost to families at SesameWorkshop.org/ComingTogether.
More to read, listen, and play is coming soon from across the Workshop to continue the conversation as part of Coming Together. In the coming year, Sesame Workshop will release additional Sesame Street in Communities resources made possible by the generous support of donors including PNC Foundation, USAA, and the Joan Ganz Cooney Fund for Vulnerable Children.
For regular updates and new content for children and families promoting racial justice: