Sesame Place came under fire recently after an allegedly racist incident.
Parents with children of color have repeatedly complained about racism in parks and restaurants.
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Sesame Place over alleged racial bias.
The amusement park is implementing anti-bias training.
(NewsReady.com) – Parents take their children to amusement parks so they can create memories with them while they are having fun. For people with small children, Sesame Place in suburban Philadelphia is the perfect place to visit. After all, what kid hasn’t been obsessed with Elmo or Big Bird at some point in their childhood?
Unfortunately, a lawsuit against the park alleges the characters treat the children differently based on the color of their skin. Sesame Place is taking steps to rectify the issue, but will it work?
On August 9, Sesame Place announced a series of changes it hopes will help promote inclusivity, diversity, and equity within the park. The new initiatives include a racial equity assessment that will go over a review of “policies, processes, and practices that impact guests, employees, suppliers and the community,” and involve those inside and outside of the company. It hopes to identify areas where it can improve the experience for everyone.
Additionally, the staff will undergo racial-bias education by the end of September. All employees are required to participate in the training. Moving forward, it will become a regular part of the hiring process, training, and workforce development.
Anti-bias expert Shaun Harper wrote an op-ed for Forbes after the incidents at Sesame Place came to light and agreed this kind of training is necessary when working with so many different people. However, he warned that it can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach. Every company is unique, and creating a program that doesn’t address individual issues will do nothing to help in the long term.
Sesame Place Incidents
In July, news broke that the amusement park was facing a class action lawsuit that was seeking more than $25 million over claims of racial bias. The suit came after multiple families alleged their children were treated differently and ignored because of the color of their skin, while the characters interacted with white kids.
According to ABC 6, attorney Malcolm Ruff announced they are representing the parents of 5-year-old Kennedi Burns, who was allegedly snubbed at the park. The suit came after another family accused one of the characters, Rosita, of doing the same thing when they visited Sesame Place over the summer.
What do you think about the lawsuit and anti-bias training?
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