Petition created asking Sesame Street to rethink occupation of new Latina character
GritoBlast! Angelica Perez, the founder of Latinas Think Big and founder and CEO at Ella Leadership Institute, is a clinical psychologist who knows firsthand the importance of girls growing up believing they can be more than what some may expect of them. So, she was more than disappointed when Sesame Street announced the show’s new Latina character, named Nina, would only be portrayed simply as Elmo’s babysitter and a worker in a laundromat.
In this day and age of inspiring girls to reach their full potential, Sesame Street’s message seemed like a “wash-out,” especially to young Latinas.
To counter Sesame Street’s proposed occupation for Nina, Dr. Perez has created a Change.org petition to get Sesame Street to rethink the career track of this young, bright Latina character, who will be watched by the next generation of Latinas and Latinos.
The New Latina on Sesame Street: Change Her Role to College/Graduate Student
Sesame Workshop, the educational organization behind Sesame Street, recently unveiled the new Latina on Sesame Street. Suki Lopez, a Cuban-American, will play a Latina character named Nina.
While are excited to see another Latina on the show, we are greatly disappointed by Nina’s occupational role on Sesame Street. On the show, she is Elmo’s babysitter and she works in a laundromat and bike store. While we believe babysitting and working in a laundromat are important roles in any community, we strongly believe this is a missed opportunity for Sesame Street to highlight an ambitious Latina who is pursuing a college or graduate degree, or who’s running her own business.
As a Clinical Psychologist, I can attest to the great importance television characters have in the minds of children. Having Nina play the role of an ambitious college or graduate student, who also happens to babysit Elmo and works in the community, is a more accurate reflection of today’s millenial Latinas — across the country. Sesame Street has the power to inspire millions of children, from all ethnic/racial background. We want Nina’s character — as an ambitious, young Latina pursuing an educational degree — to serve as a role model for all children.
This request comes from Latinas Think Big, a global community and platform created to help Latinas accelerate their careers. We have an online community of 13,000 talented, professional and entrepreneurial Latinas who deeply care about how Latinas are portrayed in media.