These past few weeks have been an awakening of sorts for our country. A heartbreaking, eye-opening realization of what it really means to be Black in America—an awareness that is admittedly long overdue.
Along with so many others, I’ve found myself in a season of reflection and listening, which I’m determined to translate into knowledge and growth. I’m a white woman who, for the first time in her life, realizes that simply being “not racist” isn’t nearly enough.
I’ll never know what it feels like to be Black in America, but I know I need to do better. For my friends of color. For the strangers of color I’ll never meet. For their kids and their grandkids and their great grandkids after that.
As a mom, it is my great responsibility to raise my kids to be proactive allies for their brothers and sisters of color.
In a recent conversation with a Black friend, she said something that really struck me:
“It’s not about having one conversation with your kids about racism. It’s about making your life a non-stop conversation celebrating diversity.”
She talked about the importance of immersing our kids in a multi-colored world from the get-go. Buying dolls of all skin tones. Consuming books, shows, and movies with strong protagonists of color. Inviting a rainbow of humans to sit around our dinner tables.
I am learning, and I am desperate to raise my kids in a way that contributes to a changed world. That’s why, when an article about an upcoming television special popped up on my newsfeed this afternoon, I clicked immediately.
This coming Saturday, June 6th, CNN and Sesame Street are helping to bridge the gap for those of us who want to teach our kids better, but don’t necessarily know where to start.
Their hour-long special, “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism. A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Families,” will cover the topics of “racism, the recent nationwide protests, embracing diversity and being more empathetic and understanding,” according to CNN.
Sesame Street’s mission comes as no surprise following a statement they released on June 1st which stated, “Racism has no place on our Street—or on any street. Sesame Street was built on diversity, inclusion, and, especially kindness.”
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) June 1, 2020
Parents and kids can expect to see Sesame Street favorites Big Bird, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and Rosita (among others) alongside CNN correspondents Van Jones and Erica Hill as they tackle these issues and answer tough questions. Parents are invited to use this form to submit additional questions they would like to see addressed in the upcoming town hall about social justice.
Saturday’s town hall will air at 10 a.m. ET on CNN, CNN International, and CNN en Español. It will also stream on CNN.com and CNN’s mobile apps with no cable login required.
This isn’t the first time CNN and Sesame Street have teamed up to bring age-appropriate education to our kids.
In April, their first town hall event focused on the coronavirus epidemic. That episode addressed everything from handwashing, to homeschooling, to dealing with the big emotions caused by the pandemic. You can watch that episode here.
As a mom desperate to leave a better world for future generations, I’m grateful to CNN and Sesame Street for doing this heavy lifting. True change starts in our homes—and for my family, I think it’s going to start Saturday with a stroll down Sesame Street.