Enterprise Media is your one stop solution for your training needs: including streamed learning, DVDs, USBs, and more.
Jane Elliott, a pioneer in racism awareness training, was first inspired to action by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. As a third grade teacher in an all-white, all Christian community, she struggled for ways to help her students understand racism and discrimination. She adopted the "Blue-eyed/brown-eyed" exercise, (in which participants are treated as inferior or superior based solely on the color of their eyes) as a result of reading about the techniques the Nazis used on those they designated undesirable during what is now called the Holocaust.
Elliott contends that "A person who has been raised and socialized in America has been conditioned to be a racist... We live in two countries, one black and one white." In contrast to the more usual encounter group strategy, the feisty Elliott believes it’s important for whites to experience the emotional impact of discrimination for themselves.
Jane Elliott’s approach is especially relevant today. It demonstrates irrefutably that even without juridical discrimination, hate speech, lowered expectations and dismissive behavior can have devastating effects on minority achievement. Black members of the blue-eyed group forcefully remind whites that they undergo similar stresses, not just for a few hours in a controlled experiment, but every day of their lives. And Elliott points out that sexism, homophobia and ageism work in the same way.