Sesame Place Announces Diversity Initiatives

Following accusations and lawsuits, Diversity Training is the plan

PHOTO: COURTESY OF SESAME PLACE & @LITTLEKIDNYC

After several viral videos have been seen across social platforms and world news, Sesame Place has announced a new plan to address equity, inclusion, and diversity issues. The parent company, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, for Sesame Place, is facing a 25 million dollar lawsuit. The lawsuit came about because of the incidents that happened at a meet-and-greet event at the amusement park.

This class action lawsuit was filed on July 27th. Allegations are saying that the four costumed employee’s involved already had “racial bias towards Black people.” The company posted an apology on Twitter and also stated, “We are committed to deliver an inclusive, equitable and entertaining experience for all our guests.”

In another statement by Sesame Place representatives it states, “Initiatives include a comprehensive racial equity assessment, the development and implementation of an anti-bias training and education program, and enhancements to ensure a best-in-class diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) program. This work will be overseen by national experts.”

Going forward the training is set to take place by the end of September. All employees will take part in the training and education program. They are claiming that after the assessment is complete, experts will remain involved in order to make sure that the park’s progress toward the goals of this new initiative. They also plan to have onboarding for new employees and to be a part of workforce development.

The President of Sesame Place Philadelphia, Cathy Valeriano, said they have already implemented “some interim measures at the park” amid their review.

“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,” Valeriano said. “We are committed to making sure our guests feel welcome, included, and enriched by their visits to our park.”

Pinned to their Twitter page the company also has this statement,

“We sincerely apologize to the family for their experience in our park on Saturday; we know that it’s not OK. We are taking actions to do better.”

It continued, “We are committed to making this right. We will conduct training for our employees so they better understand, recognize and deliver an inclusive, equitable, and entertaining experience to our guests. For over 40 years Sesame Place has worked to uphold the values of respect, inclusion, and belonging. We are committed to doing a better job making children and families feel special, seen, and included when they come to our parks.”

With that being said we hope for the best in this situation. It seems that the company officials are taking the necessary measures to try and rectify the problem. We will keep an eye on the matter to stay updated.

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