Interview with Jane Elliot on Racism
The Complete Blue Eyed Mirlyn Record
For over 30 years Jane Elliott has been America’s most highly acclaimed diversity trainer. Her powerful and controversial “blue eyed/brown eyed” exercise has had a life-changing impact on thousands in schools, corporations and government. The original “Blue eyed,” the definitive record of her technique, proved so powerful that it has been made into three separate versions so it can be conveniently used in any setting. 30-minute blue-eyed (the most concise version) / producers, Claus Strigel, Bertram Verhaag (30 min.) — Essential blue-eyed / trainer’s ed., with debriefing with Jane Elliott) / producers, Claus Strigel, Bertram Verhaag (90 min.) — Blue-eyed (original version) / producers, Claus Strigel, Bertram Verhaag (93 min.) — [Blue eyed] Trainer’s manual (suggestion for using “blue eyed” in diversity training programs).
A Class Divided Mirlyn Record
In 1968, after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jane Elliott, a public school teacher in Riceville, Iowa, divided her all-white third-graders into blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups for a lesson in discrimination. On successive days, each group was treated as inferior and subjected to discrimination. A 1970 documentary, Eye of the storm, presented this experiment on television. This documentary reunites the teacher and students 15 years after the experiment to analyze its enduring effects.
California Newsreel website
Jane Elliott is an American former schoolteacher, recognized most prominently as an anti-racism activist and educator. She is also known as a feminist and LGBT activist. Elliott created the famous “blue-eyed/brown-eyed” exercise, first done with third-grade school children in the 1960s, which later became the basis for her career in diversity training. The exercise was conducted the day following Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The purpose of the exercise was to try to teach her students the effects of being a minority. Her exercise, and the subsequent controversy, became the basis for the television documentaries Eye of the Storm and A Class Divided. Elliott was also recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education and many other awards. Source