By: Jason Jowers
On July 27th, 2021, OneOp Family Development and OneOp Family Transitions hosted a collaborative webinar entitled “Coming Together with Sesame Street: Resources for Racial Justice.” We were joined by Antonio Freitas, Senior Content Manager with the Sesame Workshop. Antonio works to build content for Sesame Street in Communities and Sesame Street for Military Families to professionally train parents and providers on ways to implement these resources in their work with children.
The goals of this webinar focused on sharing the new resources from Sesame Street on racial justice and introducing their new initiative and Muppets to help kids and families to talk about and to understand racial justice issues. This webinar content also strived to explore ways to discuss communication strategies and concepts connected to racial literacy. Also, we wanted to highlight ways to create and curate learning opportunities to share with children, caregivers, and providers.
We wanted to share some of the highlights from this webinar session that are beneficial for service providers and continue to provide strategies and resources when working specifically with military children and families.
- We began this webinar with Antonio sharing the history of inclusion on Sesame Street since the ’70s, with a look back at the various Muppets throughout the years from diverse racial backgrounds, both here in the U.S. and internationally. This portion also included various Muppets that highlight issues related to homelessness, food insecurity, foster care, autism, addiction, and parental incarceration.
- The need for knowing about all these issues that children may face is that “Almost 2 in every 4 kids struggle with more than one traumatic experience.”
- Antonio then shared an overview of both Sesame Street in communities and Sesame Street for Military Families and all the resources they have to offer.
- He then began talking about the new racial justice initiative and introduced their newest Muppets, a 5-year-old African American boy named Wes and his dad, Elijah.
- Next, we looked at what racial literacy is and the importance of having a shared language when it comes to speaking together about racial justice issues.
- Then we looked at the concept of being an “upstander,” or someone who speaks out for those being racially discriminated against. Antonio shared several videos of Muppets describing what an upstander is and how to be one, both in the moment when racial injustice occurs and within the larger concept.
- Finally, we wrapped up by sharing how these concepts can be applied and how to access resources for kids and families.
Archived Viewing and CE Credit Info
If you missed the live event, you can watch the archived recording on our YouTube channel listed on the webinar event page. Free Continuing Education Credits for this event are still available for licensed social workers, professional counselors, case managers, certified family life educators, and family therapists. The Case Management CE credits are available through July 2022 and the UT Social Work CE Credits through July 2023. And be sure to stay tuned for more info on future collaborative webinars with our friends at Sesame Street!