Sesame Workshop Introduces New Sesame Street Muppet and Announces Special to Celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Communities and the Power of Belonging
Sesame Workshop has announced a new family special celebrating the rich diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander communities as part of the organisation’s ongoing racial justice initiative. The See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special will debut in Australia on Friday November 25, and families can find the special on Sesame Street’s social channels.
Designed for families to watch together, See Us Coming Together follows the Sesame Street friends through a “Neighbour Day” celebration with new friend Ji-Young, a seven year old Korean American character performed by Sesame Workshop puppeteer Kathleen Kim.
Celebrity guests like actors Simu Liu and Anna Cathcart, comic book artist Jim Lee, chef Melissa King, television personality Padma Lakshmi, and athlete Naomi Osaka join in, too, sharing their passions, talents, and cultures with their Sesame Street friends.
“Sesame Workshop’s mission is to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Today, we uphold that mission by empowering children and families of all races, ethnicities, and cultures to value their unique identities,” said Kay Wilson Stallings, Sesame Workshop’s Executive Vice President of Creative and Production. “See Us Coming Together continues Sesame Street’s proud legacy of representation with an engaging story that encourages empathy and acceptance and uplifts Asian and Pacific Islander communities.”
As part of Sesame Workshop’s “Coming Together” initiative —created to support families of all backgrounds through ongoing conversations about race, the special also includes an opportunity for talking about anti-Asian racism. In an offscreen incident, another child tells Ji-Young to “go home.”
This is an example of one kind of discrimination Asian and Pacific Islander people face in western countries where they’re often perceived as “perpetual foreigners.” After the incident, Ji-Young seeks out trusted grown-ups and friends who unite to help her know that she’s exactly where she belongs. To help guide those conversations, a viewing guide and accompanying activities for adults and children to complete together will become available at sesame.org/seeus the week of the special.
“It’s a powerful thing when kids see people like themselves represented on screen and in stories—it supports them as they figure out who they are and who they want to be,” said Alan Muraoka, longtime Sesame Street cast member and co-director of See Us Coming Together. “We can’t wait for families to get to know Ji-Young, in this special and in future seasons of Sesame Street and celebrate some of the Asian and Pacific Islander people in our neighbourhood!”
Additional videos and articles for adults cover the building blocks of what racial justice can mean for young children. For more information including more viewing guides and activities to complete together please visit sesame.org/seeus
About Sesame Workshop:
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organisation behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re active in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org