By Tyler Aquilina
June 06, 2020 at 04:12 PM EDT
Sesame Street
Credit: HBO

Weeks after joining forces to educate kids and families about the coronavirus pandemic, Sesame Street and CNN teamed up again for a town hall on racism amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

On the hour-long special, which you can watch in its entirety for free on CNN's website, Sesame Street characters Big Bird, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and Rosita, along with CNN's Van Jones and Erica Hill, joined experts to answer questions submitted by families and address the complex topic of racism in America. The start of the town hall featured Elmo's dad Louie explaining to his son why people are protesting.

"Not all streets are like Sesame Street," Louie said. "Across the country, people of color, especially in the black community, are being treated unfairly because of how they look, their culture, race, and who they are. What we are seeing is people saying 'Enough is enough.'"

Topics covered included how to explain racism to kids, white privilege, and what families can do to help combat the problem, with featured guests including Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and actors Roscoe Orman and Sonia Manzano, who played human characters Gordon and Maria on Sesame Street. The special concluded with an emphatic message: "We can do better. We must do better. We will do better."

Protests have been taking place across the U.S. after Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer. Protesters are demanding justice for Floyd as well as the numerous other black people killed by police, including Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade, both of whom were killed by officers who have not been charged with a crime.

Head over to CNN to watch the full town hall.

To help combat systemic racism, please consider donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero, which is dedicated to ending police brutality in America through research-based strategies.
  • Color of Change, which works to move decision makers in corporations and government to be more responsive to racial disparities.
  • Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal services to people who have been wrongly convicted, denied a fair trial, or abused in state jails and prisons.

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