Jane Elliott, who devised the "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise in teaching about prejudice, will present "The Anatomy of Prejudice" on Thursday, March 26, at 7 p.m. at Hope College in Dimnent Memorial Chapel through the "Teaching Hope Diversity Program" coordinated by the college's Student Congress.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
The event was originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 11, but was postponed when inclement weather out west disrupted the speaker's ability to travel.
In response to the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Elliott developed the "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise to teach the students in her elementary classroom about prejudice. The exercise labels participants as inferior or superior based solely upon the color of their eyes and exposes them to the experience of being a minority.
In her presentation at Hope, Elliott will introduce and discuss the Peabody Award-winning film "The Eye of the Storm," which was produced by ABC News about the exercise. She will also explore with the audience the problems of racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and ethnocentrism, and the responsibility shared by all to identify them and eliminate them from within oneself and the environment.
Those attending the presentation will be encouraged to discuss the issues raised as they relate to their own workplace. They will also be encouraged to discuss the materials presented on handouts which designed to help them to identify their own racist statements, behaviors and attitudes. Participants will receive a list of suggested activities designed to help them to decrease the amount of racism in their environment and a list of books which can provide added insights into the problems of the -isms with which people are confronted.
The Teaching Hope Diversity Program is planned and executed by student leaders elected as representatives of the student body. The series aims to supplement Hope's liberal arts curriculum with relevant, informative speakers of interest to students and community members.
Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.