Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, will address racism – and model how children can stand up to it – in “The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special.”
Designed as a co-viewing experience for children and families, the 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).
“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.”
“The Power of We” features Elmo and Abby Cadabby, who are joined by 6-year-old Muppet Gabrielle and her cousin, 8-year-old Tamir, as they learn how to become “upstanders” to unfair treatment based on skin – or fur – color.
Current and former Sesame Street human cast members Alan, Charlie, Chris, and Gordon take part in the special alongside celebrity and musical 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 Jackson and featuring 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 recent 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.