Statement from Reverend Jesse L Jackson, Sr.
CHICAGO , ILLINOIS , UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, September 22, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition continue to stand with Jodi and Sean Brown since 6-year olds, Skylar and Nylah were traumatized at Sesame Place theme park, as a result of what has been seen as a public and deliberate snub and rebuff while simply seeking a “high-five” from the Rosita Muppet, while other nearby white children were acknowledged and affirmed in their interactions with the same character. The emotions conjured that day, and seen by millions in a now viral video, serve as another reminder of the inequities, systemic racism and public stigma imposed upon African Americans and other people of color today.
Reverend Jackson, alongside Attorneys B’Ivory LaMarr, Benjamin Crump and other Civil Rights leaders, continue to advocate on behalf of the Brown family in their ongoing fight to address their concerns by meeting with SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Marc Swanson and others, to explore appropriate remedies for the harms caused by the traumatizing interaction between two young Black girls and a Sesame Street character, that has stirred the historical memory of the Black community concerning racial exclusion in amusement and theme parks.
Black households totaled approximately $835 Billion in consumer expenditures in 2019 according to McKinsey and Company. Given the ongoing treatment by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, it has become increasingly apparent that the company’s response concerning the racial incident at Sesame Place assumes an entitlement to Black patronage, that helped make SeaWorld and Sesame Place reach $1.5 Billion in profits last year.
Reverend Jesse Jackson had this to say, “Candidly, I can understand attorney B’Ivory LaMarr’s frustration when he says the family is “tired of talking.” He adds, “The fatigue of empty conversations that are devoid of credible demonstrations of the willingness to change the conditions that made Skylar and Nylah’s experience even possible, makes us all tired of talking. The veneer of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts propagated by SeaWorld Entertainment and Sesame Place amid the fallout of this controversy, has done little to address the core issues at hand still affecting the Brown family.”
In an interview with Reverend Jackson, he said it is time for SeaWorld Entertainment to accept responsibility and be held accountable for the harms imposed on Skylar, Nylah and the Brown family at Sesame Place in July. Reverend Jackson and the Coalition aligned with Rainbow PUSH believe that SeaWorld Entertainment must take full responsibility for their actions, and only then will the company send an emphatic message that racism and discrimination will not be tolerated within the SeaWorld Entertainment brands.
Reverend Jackson further stated, “We need to see a culture change within SeaWorld Entertainment and all its affiliated parks. SeaWorld Entertainment’s CEO, Marc Swanson, can address these concerns by meeting in good faith with the Brown family, as well as engage in a collaborative process with key stakeholders to ensure SeaWorld Entertainment meets key benchmarks as previously discussed.”
A list of demands have been made to SeaWorld Entertainment as follows:
– Making Skylar, Nylah and the Brown family whole;
– Ensuring equity for African American vendors across all professional and product lines of the various SeaWorld Entertainment entities;
– Evaluating and revising employment, hiring, and training practices for all SeaWorld Entertainment employees;
– Filing and publicly disclosing SeaWorld Entertainment’s EEO-1 filing with the SEC;
– Ensuring that the management, executive and board ranks of SeaWorld Entertainment are diverse;
– Establish a DEI Engagement Advisory Committee to provide collaborative support to ensure institutional and structural changes are implemented.
Rainbow Push Coalition and Jesse Jackson Sr., believe that SeaWorld Entertainment can establish a new standard for advancing racial equity by addressing this unfortunate situation and making it a teachable moment, that will not only enhance the experience of African-Americans and other people of color who patronize its parks, but also infuse a tangible diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture for all company employees.
Rainbow PUSH Coalition along with the host of other vested stakeholders will meet soon to discuss next steps, and leverage the strength of the coalition to stand with the Brown family and bring forth a proper resolution to their legitimate concerns.
Rainbow PUSH Coalition (RPC) is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. Through the merging of two organizations, he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (Est. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (Est. 1984). Headquartered in Chicago with offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. The organization’s mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.
Keep up with Rev. Jackson and the work of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition at www.rainbowpush.org.
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