Have you met Ameera?
She is the newest Sesame Street character with a big message. Hers is a powerful message of representation and inclusion. This should not surprise us, coming from Sesame Workshop, creator of the Sesame Street television show.
My daughter brought this to my attention. She is nurse and a strong and caring advocate for children with disabilities. She knows that having a positive character on television, one her patients can relate to, is empowering and validating.
My daughter shared a link about Ameera from Fast Company, which she knows is one of my favourite magazines. Thank you to Adele Peters from Fast Company for your great article about this adorable furry friend.
LET’S MEET AMEERA
This short clip is adorable.
HOW CAN AMEERA HELP
Ameera is many things. She is green, furry and a refugee. She uses a wheelchair and forearm crutches, loves science and loves basketball. She is 8 years old.
Ameera is also funny, as well as being furry. This helps her to explore serious issues that face children from around the world. Many of these children live every day with disabilities. It is very difficult for them to get the help they need, when life all around them is torn apart.
Millions of children are displaced from their homes in areas of the world affected by conflict. Ameera can help support them. She will be featured in stories designed to help children in these situations. She will be helping children who have to move to a new neighbourhood, make new friends, and cope with sadness and grief – many of the issues faced by refugees on a daily basis.
AMEERA LEADS BY EXAMPLE
Like many adults, children with disabilities may not see themselves on television or screens. As a result, they often feel invisible. Seeing a character such as Ameera interacting with other children can be a strong boost to their self-esteem and confidence.
Representation in the media and in all walks of life is important.
We all need to see others like us, at school, at work, in health care and in the popular culture and media that is all around us. This is what representation is all about. When we see examples of who we could be, we can start to dream and one day become like the examples we see.
Representation helps people feel less alone and less invisible. People need to feel validated and to feel that they matter. With this validation, they can feel more confident to play an active role in our ever changing society. We need contributions from people with a wide variety of talents and experiences to share.
Representation is especially important for children because it affects how they grow up and affects who they might become. The early experiences of children shape what they imagine to be possible. Children determine what they can be based on the examples they grow up seeing around them and in the media.
Sesame Street has a long history of influence upon children, their parents and our evolving society. Now they have taken this to a new level with a character like Ameera who represents an often invisible part of our society. We are very lucky to have Sesame Workshop’s warm hearted creatives helping and entertaining us all.
Until next time, let our warm hearts soar!
And thank you for caring that little bit extra – it really makes a big difference.