Sesame Street is welcoming a new member to its team!
The nonprofit behind the iconic children’s show, Sesame Workshop, has named Wanda Witherspoon as its new Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO) — an executive position that was just created, reports PR Newswire.
Joining the nonprofit’s top leadership, she will lead a review of the organizations’ global business practices at the entry-level while directly reporting to Chief Executive Officer Steve Youngwood. Witherspoon will ensure that all processes- employee recruitment, staff development, vendor selection, and more — reflect the Workshop’s foundational values.
She will also continue leading multi-level employee discussion groups which will, in turn, enable her to represent many viewpoints.
“Having directly witnessed Sesame Workshop’s impact on diverse communities around the world for more than twenty years, I am thrilled to now lead our efforts to ensure that same impact extends within the organization,” said Witherspoon in a news release. “As we redouble our efforts to authentically represent and support children everywhere, I look forward to creating sustainable change and opportunities for Sesame Workshop staff that reflect our deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
In 1997, Witherspoon joined Sesame Workshop as its Vice President of Public Affairs and Special Events where she has managed and developed many of the organization’s public appearances and events.
“From its inception, Sesame Workshop has been a leader in diversity and representation in children’s media; fifty years later, as we address racism and racial justice more directly than ever before, we hope to set an equally strong example with our business practices and culture,” said CEO Youngwood in the release. “Wanda’s deep knowledge and love of the brand, along with her passion for creating growth opportunities for everyone in her orbit make her perfect for the CDEIO role as we step into the Workshop’s future.”
Previously, Witherspoon worked for 20th Century Fox Television, Arlington Community Television, and BET. She is a graduate of Marymount University, Arlington, and holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and Public Affairs.