Sesame Place announced its initiatives in response to accusations of racist actions toward Black children at the theme park’s Philadelphia location. TMZ reports the company plans to develop a new standard procedure for employees, including an overall racial equity assessment. The assessment will be conducted by internal and external stakeholders, including Debo P. Adegbile, Joseph West, and Sadiqa Reynolds, who all have extensive experience in developing diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
In addition to the assessment, employees will be required to complete an anti-bias training and an education program intended to ensure all guests feel seen regardless of gender and race. Fox Business reports that the assessment will “review policies, processes and practices that impact guests, employees, suppliers and the community to identify opportunities for improvement.”
President of Sesame Place Philadelphia Cathy Valeriano said in a statement on Tuesday (Aug. 9), “The actions we are taking will help us deliver on our promise to provide an equitable and inclusive experience for all our guests every day. We are committed to making sure our guests feel welcome, included and enriched by their visits to our park.”
As previously reported by REVOLT, the public outrage against Sesame Place began when an angered mothered published a video online of her daughters being ignored by the character Rosita. The theme park intially denied Jodi Brown’s claims that Rosita was ignoring the girls and suggested her “no” gesture was towards patrons requesting pictures. Brown immediately refuted the claims on her Instagram Story and denied asking for a picture. A prejudice pattern was successfully established once more families shared videos of the discrimination they faced at the amusement park.
Brown was joined by her attorney, B’Ivory LaMarr, and activists Tamika D. Mallory and Mysonne during a New York City press conference in July. LaMarr listed the families’ demands, which included coverage of mental health expenses: “We don’t want some explanation that ‘Oh, the performer didn’t see these two young girls’ — which one of them is in isolation today by the harm that has been caused by this company. The second thing that we’re requesting is the immediate termination of that performer. The third thing that we’re going to request is … they take care of any type of health care or mental care expenses.”
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