Carrying a Vision Forward

Jeffrey D. Dunn

Photo: Sesame Workshop

When Joan Ganz Cooney began her study, I don’t think she could have imagined that the path she started down would one day become the longest street in the world. Her 1966 report is much more than a treasured heirloom in the Sesame family. In many ways, it’s our sacred text: the starting point from which a global phenomenon sprang and a material reminder of our purpose and our mission.

Seeing massive potential where others saw mere diversion, Joan’s thinking was visionary—and as the current CEO of Sesame Workshop, I well understand the size of the shoes that are mine to fill. The organization she and Lloyd Morrisett launched has, for half a century now, been on a continuous, relentless, and highly successful crusade to help kids get ready for school and for life.

Today, by carrying forth that original vision to use emerging media in innovative ways, and by maintaining Sesame’s historic promise to deploy it in the interests of vulnerable children, we have become much more than a TV show. Sesame Workshop is a global organization focused on helping kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Whether it is our programming, which is now seen in more than 150 countries, our Sesame Street in Communities work to help community service organizations address U.S. families in crisis, our work to improve health and hygiene in the developing world, or our partnership with the International Rescue Committee and BRAC to educate refugee children, Sesame Workshop is a global force for good at a time when it has never been needed more.

In the consequential age in which we live and do our work, we remain committed to being a leader and a positive force for change in an increasingly divided and unequal world. We will stay true to our mission, working to deliver on the promise of equality with respect for people of all colors, genders, and backgrounds. And we will continue to show the world that what Joan Ganz Cooney set in motion with this report has a transformative power that can endure for the next 50 years and beyond. Sesame Street remains a vibrant tool
for expanding the young minds of each new generation, during the years they need it most.

 

Jeffrey D. Dunn
President and Chief Executive Officer Sesame Workshop