Jane Elliott believes that white people won't act against racism until they have experienced it emotionally themselves,if only for a few hours in a controlled environment.
The "blue eyed/brown eyed" exercise was originally developed by Jane Elliott for her all white third grade class in Riceville, Iowa at the time of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination to give them some idea of racial prejudice. She divided her class on the basis of eye color and subjected the blue-eyed members to a regime of intense discrimination. They soon cracked under the pressure, losing self-esteem and competence.
The same exercise with the same devastating results has since been replicated hundreds of times in industry, higher education and public employment not just in this country but around the world.
The "blue eyed/brown eyed" technique can be used to illustrate:
*How even casual bias can have a devastating impact on personal performance, organizational teamwork and productivity. *How "color blindness" can itself be a form of racism *How to identify culturally-biased codes of conduct within an organization that may be invisible to the majority *How all participants can take responsibility for building a welcoming and inclusive organizational culture
"It is hard to find words to express the effect of her message. One student commented: 'I thought I had learned everything I needed to know about discrimination until I heard Ms. Elliott - she has turned my life around.'"
Col. Ronald Joe, Former Commander, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute
“I can’t imagine one program having greater impact. At the very least purchase the film for your company library.”
Training Media Review
"Jane Elliott captures the attention of people of all different backgrounds. Her powerful and captivating work hits a nerve!"