23 minutes | Sep 11th 2020

Sherrie Westin on How Sesame Workshop Plants Seeds for Societal Change

Sherrie Westin is President of Global Impact and Philanthropy for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street. She leads the Workshop’s efforts to serve vulnerable children through mass media and targeted initiatives in the United States and around the world. Westin spearheaded a partnership to create the largest early childhood intervention in the history of humanitarian response, bringing critical education and nurturing care to refugee children in the Syrian response region. Working with the International Rescue Committee, she led Sesame Workshop’s efforts to compete for and win a historic $100 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation to fund this work. With an additional $100 million grant from The Lego Foundation, this initiative has expanded to Bangladesh. She also oversees Sesame Street in Communities, Sesame’s comprehensive initiative designed to give children the tools they need to overcome traumatic experiences. Journalist Ray Suarez interviewed Westin to learn about Sesame Street’s efforts in Afghanistan, and how its local, culturally appropriate programs promote gender equity and plant the seeds for transformative societal change.
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